Burning Love

  • Alberto Caviglia
  • IT
  • 2015
  • 87 min

Fast-paced mockumentary about a notorious Italian anti-Semite whose disappearance throws all of Italy into turmoil. Alberto Caviglia succeeds in creating a pointed, over-the-top look at right-wing nationalist, anti-Semitic tendencies and a portrait of a society that can no longer distinguish between real or fake news and false tolerance.

Leonardo Zuliano has disappeared. Was he kidnapped? Or is he still alive? In Italy, the young man is the spokesman of the "antisemiphobia" movement, which fights against anti-Semites being denied the right to speak. In Italy he is a figure of public interest; criticised, revered, and forever in the spotlight. Having grown up without a father, young Leonardo beat up his only Jewish classmate, came out in a rash when he found out that Jesus was a Jew and suffered an epilepsy attack when the Jewish folk song “Hava Nagila” was played. As an adult, he enjoys success as the author of the anti-Semitic comic book "Bloody Mario" and promotes the fast-food chain "Burger Pork", which uses only non-kosher ingredients.
Needless to say, Zuliano doesn't actually exist, and yet in news programmes, interviews with would-be psychologists, historians and sociologists as well as Leonardo's "family members", all of which appear deceptively real, director Alberto Caviglia succeeds in portraying a would-be Duce with a friendly face in what is an amusingly exaggerated pseudo-documentary. His misanthropic, anti-Semitic rhetoric is downplayed in public and thus exposes the widespread indifference to an anti-Semitism which is currently growing in strength. Particularly amusing and yet disturbing are excerpts from the film within a film, "Afraid to Hate", which recreates the "glorious" biography of the hero in softened black and white images.
Text: Kira Tazmann
English: Peter Rickerby

On 14.6. at 19:30 at Filmkunst 66 and on 17.6. at 17:00 at HBPG and at 21:00 at Il Kino, director Alberto Caviglia will be present after the film for a film talk.

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original title Burning Love

international title Burning Love

german title Burning Love


  • director Alberto Caviglia

country/countries IT

year 2015

duration 87 min

Portrait of Alberto Caviglia

Alberto Caviglia

BIO Born in Rome in 1984, he graduated in Letters and Philosophy with a dissertation on David Cronenberg, going on to attend directing courses at the New York Film Academy and London Film School. He began to work as assistant director and collaborated with Ferzan Ozpetek from 2006 onwards, continuing to participate in other film and TV projects. Over the years, he has cultivated a passion for photography which led him to obtain a diploma from the Rome School of Photography in 2011. "Pecore in Erba" is his début film, and represents the results of reflection and research to take on the topic of anti-Semitism in a new way and from an original perspective.