• Canada Kidnapped: The Abduction of Edgardo Mortara (more)
Trailer 7


In 1858, in the Jewish quarter of Bologna, the Pope’s soldiers burst into the home of the Mortara family. By order of the cardinal, they have come to take Edgardo, their seven-year-old son. The child had been secretly baptized by his nurse as a baby and the papal law is unquestionable: he must receive a Catholic education. Edgardo’s parents, distraught, will do anything to get their son back. Supported by public opinion and the international Jewish community, the Mortaras’ struggle quickly take a political dimension. But the Church and the Pope will not agree to return the child, to consolidate an increasingly wavering power… (Cannes Film Festival)


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English Based on an actual event. Kidnapped is set in the second half of the 19th century when, from today’s perspective, the Church was still a regular criminal enterprise. The film’s viewer-pleasing editing comprehensively captures the perception of events by all involved parties – the Jewish parents whose child is forcibly abducted by the Church in order to convert him to Christianity; the abducted child’s brother, who stubbornly believes in his rescue even after many years have passed; the Church representatives who believe they are exercising divine power; and the Pope himself, who thinks he is accountable only to God. A devastating injustice perpetrated by a heartless organisation blinded by power, the fruit of which is separation, suffering and the loss of family ties and even one’s own identity. [Cannes FF] ()


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English Things have never been easy with some Catholics, all the more so when the going got hard. The film tells the story of a kidnapped Jewish boy who was born in the wrong time under the wrong circumstances. As a premise for a big drama set against the backdrop of the Italian Risorgimento, it looks promising. Why then did I find the often unnecessarily overblown music the most dramatic? The boy experiences a lot in the first act, but after the first sermon, only the traditional brainwashing begins, which is not bad by any means, but gives little insight into the protagonist's psyche. The potentially interesting coming of age at the mercy of the Vatican is skipped altogether, as the film wants to have time for the courtroom drama and the gradual decline of this bankrupt state, and in the process, the main character literally fades away. ()



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English A very sad true story of a six-year-old boy who was torn from the arms of his Jewish family to convert to the Christian faith, one of monstrous practices of the Church. The family has been trying for years to get the boy back home, but to no avail, and little Edgardo has a difficult, almost impossible task ahead of him: to remain faithful to his family and his faith despite years of brainwashing, which results in his utter ambivalence. The most heartbreaking scene is the reunion years later with his mother, who is on her deathbed. The film has a fantastic production design, the performances of all the main actors are admirable, my only criticism would be the running time (I would have cut it by 20 minutes), and the dramatic music is a bit too religious at times, but otherwise it is definitely worth seeing. [Festival de Cannes 2023] ()

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