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