Senso ’45 (also released internationally as Black Angel) is an Italian erotic drama film written and directed by Tinto Brass, based on the novella Senso by Camillo Boito, which also inspired Luchino Visconti’s 1954 film ‘Senso’.
Instead of being set during the Third Italian War of Independence, the film is set in Venice during the last months of the fascist regime.
Also known as Black Angel and Black Angel – Senso ’45.
Livia Mazzoni, the wife of a senior manager of MinCulPop, departs from Asolo to Venice, where she meets her lover Helmut Schultz, an officer of the SS. During her car trip, Livia remembers the sexual drift that brought her up to that point, overwhelming her in a whirlwind of erotic adventures, illicit trafficking, shady characters who move in the shadow of the disarraying fascist regime in the final months of World War II.
- Anna Galiena as Livia Mazzoni.
- Gabriel Garko as Helmut Schultz.
- Antonio Salines as Carlo.
- Franco Branciaroli as Ugo Oggiano.
- Loredana Cannata as Ninetta.
- Simona Borioni as Elsa.
Tinto Brass re-adapted the source novella as Senso ’45 in 2002 when he read it and found himself unsatisfied with Visconti’s rather liberal adaptation. The film starred Anna Galiena as Livia and Gabriel Garko as her lover. The story of the film is much more faithful to Camillo Boito’s work than the earlier adaptation in terms of tone and story, but the action was transported from the War of Unification to the end of World War II, with Remigio becoming a Nazi Lieutenant and Livia updated to being the wife of a high ranking Fascist official. Brass later explained that the change in time was made because he did not want to compete with Visconti’s vision of Risorgimento-era Italy.
Unlike the 1954 version, Senso ’45 did not romanticize the affair between Livia and Remigio/Mahler (now named “Helmut Schultz” in the new adaptation). Rather, the film showed it as a clinical study of vanity and lust. The film won Italian cinema’s “Silver Ribbon” Award for best costume design.
- Nastro d’Argento Awards (2002):
- Nastro d’Argento for Best Costume Design to Alessandro Lai and Alberto Moretti.
- The Italian ministry of the arts and culture deemed the production culturally significant and donated 1.6 million Euros to the film’s overall budget.
- The Italian ratings board originally gave the film “no one under 14” rating.
- Tinto Brass later personally fought for a “no one under 18” rating because he thought that the younger audience would not understand the film’s subject matter, but later he agreed to allow a lower rating.
- The film contains either a visual or a verbal reference to almost every one of Tinto Brass’s previous films.
Production & Filming Details
- Tinto Brass.
- Giuseppe Colombo … producer.
- Maurizio Mattei … line producer.
- Camillo Boito (novel).
- Tinto Brass.
- Ennio Morricone.
- Massimo Di Venanzo.
- Daniele Nannuzzi.
- Tinto Brass.
- Fiorenza Muller.
- Cine 2000.
- Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali (MiBAC) (support).
- Eagle Pictures (2002) (Italy) (theatrical).
- GAGA (2003) (Japan) (theatrical) (subtitled) (censored) (as GAGA Communications).
- Arrow Films (2004) (UK) (DVD) (subtitled).
- CMV Laservision (2015) (Germany) (DVD) (and Blu-ray).
- Imagem Filmes (Brazil) (DVD).
- Imagem Filmes (Brazil) (VHS).
- Starmedia Home Entertainment (Germany) (all media).
- Release Date: 12 April 2002 (Italy).
- Running Time: 128 minutes.
- Rating: 18.
- Country: Italy.
- Language: Italian.