Prima della rivoluzione

Before the Revolution | Vor der Revolution
Fabrizio, an upper-class youth from Parma, is engaged to marry the daughter of a rich family. But Fabrizio is dissatisfied with the trappings of his class. He sympathises with communism and is close friends with working-class Agostino. After Agostino commits suicide, Fabrizio begins an incestuous affair with his young aunt, Gina. While she encourages the inchoate brooder (“I like you because you’re not a man yet”), he succumbs to melancholy feelings … Shot on Bertolucci’s home ground of Parma, Before the Revolution is a very personal work, sustained by intense dialogue and atmospheric images. It debunks the supposed sweetness of life in ostensibly tidy circumstances. In 1968, Bertolucci said, “There is both a kind of courage and a kind of complacency in my film: courage because the film is a kind of exorcism by which I try to burn the bridges with my childhood and adolescence; and a complacency because this voluntary break with my past produced a few tears on my part. I was twenty-three and I’d never known this ‘sweetness of life’.”
by Bernardo Bertolucci
with Adriana Asti, Francesco Barilli, Allen Midgette, Morando Morandini, Cristina Pariset, Cecrope Barilli, Evelina Alpi, Gianni Amico, Goliardo Padova, Guido Fanti
Italy 1964 Italian 111’ Black/White & Colour DCP: VIGGO Srl, Rome

For the 2023 Retrospective, internationally renowned directors, actors, and screenwriters were asked to select their personal coming-of-age favourites.
Martin Scorsese on his selection


  • Adriana Asti
  • Francesco Barilli
  • Allen Midgette
  • Morando Morandini
  • Cristina Pariset
  • Cecrope Barilli
  • Evelina Alpi
  • Gianni Amico
  • Goliardo Padova
  • Guido Fanti


Director Bernardo Bertolucci
Screenplay Bernardo Bertolucci
Co-Written by Gianni Amico
Cinematography Aldo Scavarda
Editing Roberto Perpignani
Music Leandro „Gato“ Barbieri, Gino Paoloi, Ennio Morricone
Sound Romano Pampaloni
Art Directors Vittorio Cafiero, Angelo Canevari
Costumes Federico Forquet
Producer Mario Bernocchi

Produced by

Iride Cinematografica

Additional information

DCP: VIGGO Srl, Rome