Synopsis by Mark Deming
A pair of movie stars rise to fame during World War II through alliances that taint their reputation in this historical drama based on a true story. As Fascism is on the march in Italy under the rule of Benito Mussolini, Golfiero Goffredo (Alessio Boni) is a well-respected movie director who is not afraid to share his left-wing views. While shooting his latest picture, Golfiero notices a beautiful woman working as an extra, Luisa Manfrini (Monica Bellucci), and he's immediately convinced she has star quality. Taking Luisa under his wing, Golfiero gives her a new name, Luisa Ferida, and begins grooming her for a new career as a cinema idol. As Luisa clicks with moviegoers, self-centered screen star Osvaldo Valenti (Luca Zingaretti) finds he's enamored of her, and the two become a couple both on and off screen. With Osvaldo at her side, Luisa abandons Golfiero as her mentor and the lovers becomes close friends with Cardi (Luigi Diberti), a loyal fascist who helps oversee the nationalized film industry. As Rome falls to Allied forces, Luisa and Osvaldo flee to still-Fascist Northern Italy, where they are welcomed as stars and attend a social event where they are guests of honor alongside Pietro Koch (Paolo Bonanni), well known as a go-between for the Italian and German forces. When Mussolini's reign is finally put down in Italy, Luisa and Osvaldo discover they have a great deal to answer for as they struggle to convince others that while they may have rubbed shoulders with Fascists and Nazis, they themselves were never Axis agents -- an argument that rings hollow when the two are charged with war crimes. Sanguepazzo (aka Wild Blood) was screened as a special presentation at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival.