DON’T TORTURE A DUCKLING
NON SI SEVIZIA UN PAPERINO
Lucio Fulci, Italy, 1972, 35mm, 102′, English subtitles
In cooperation with Cineteca Nazionale.
A journalist from Milano arrives in a sleepy village in southern Italy to help solve the mysterious murders of underage boys. The hot-blooded locals, full of prejudice and superstition, immediately suspect the village “witch” Maciara, as well as the village fool, and the rich city woman of loose morals. But the killer and his motive are more shocking than the murders themselves. Don’t Torture a Duckling and its portrayal of the Catholic Church which sparked outrage, scandal, and lawsuit against its creators, is today considered one of the most original, unusual, and uncomfortable giallo films in the history of the genre. Riz Ortolani’s stunning soundtrack is simply the icing on the cake.
“In the opening shot, an empty highway dramatically placed atop high cement pillars snakes across the deserted countryside of Italy’s impoverished South. Thus, Fulci immediately establishes the film’s basic and unresolvable conflict. A modernity fuelled by economic development traversing an ancient, almost archaic, rural community, disturbing its age-old rhythms, attacking its religious values and ridiculing its deep residue of superstition, without at the same time being able to offer any positive alternative values.”
– Cosimo Urbano, 100 European Horror Films