Commander, the review of the film with Pierfrancesco Favino

After De Filippo’s triptych and the television The lying life of adults, Edoardo De Angelis returns to the big screen and directs Pierfrancesco Favino in Commanderthe film chosen as the opening title of Venezia 80 in cinemas from October 31st throughout Italy, distributed by 01 Distribution. A film from which Sandro Veronesi and the director himself – authors of the screenplay – based the novel of the same name published by Bompiani.

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At the beginning of the Second World War Salvatore Todaro commanded the submarine Cappellini of the Royal Navy. In October 1940, while sailing in the Atlantic, he came across the Belgian merchant ship Kabalo, apparently neutral, who suddenly opens fire on the Italian crew. During a short but violent battle, Todaro sank the merchant ship with cannon fire, but decided to save the 26 castaways and disembark them in the nearest safe port, as required by the law of the sea, sailing on the surface for three days, making himself visible to the forces enemies and putting his life and that of the entire crew at risk.


Opening film of the 2023 Venice Film Festival, Comandante combines the epic-historical dimension, which recalls true events, with the more intimate, intimate, claustrophobic, theatrical dimension, which stages the life of a handful of men closed in one limited space, where everyone plays their role, communicating with the present.

The emotions conveyed by the film do not therefore arise from key scenes or particularly spectacular moments, but from the excellent “stage” work of a group of actors in the role of men of war and fascists who find the courage to disobey in the name of compassion.

The words in the film weigh more than bombs and the pride of being Italian exhibited by Todaro, a sui generis commander who died two years later, is stripped of any ideological risk because the warning is clear: the laws of the sea come before those imposed by conflicts.

READ ALSO: Favino defends the Italian actors, Mikkelsen raises the issue of dubbing

Johannes Wirix, from Commander to love for Italy and diversity: «I dream of being the Little Prince»


The great hope by Duilio Coletti, in which Renato Baldini plays a character clearly inspired by Todaro. Also in the cast are Carlo Delle Piane and Paolo Panelli.


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