In 1858, Edgardo Mortara, a young Jewish boy, was torn from his family because he was allegedly baptized in secret by his nanny.
Presented in official competition at the Cannes Film Festival last May, Pick up is revealed in a first trailer (found below). The new film of Marco Bellocchio traces the true story of Edgardo Mortara, a seven-year-old Jewish boy taken from his family in Bologna by the papal authorities in 1858. “The child would have been baptized in secret by his nurse as a baby, and the pontifical law is indisputable: he must receive a Catholic education,” specifies the synopsis. Supported by Italian public opinion and the international Jewish community, the Mortara family launched a fight to recover Edgardo, but the Church and the Pope refused to return the child.
When it was released in Italy on May 25, the feature film provoked a reaction from the Vatican, which recognized the harm caused, without asking for forgiveness for the kidnapping. The fact that Pope Pius IX was beatified in the year 2000 has also been debated again. “I remember the disappointment of Mortara’s descendants regarding the beatification. For a pope, it (the kidnapping) was a serious stain on his conscience. Elena Mortara, his great niece, was amazed that the Church could justify this act”, commented Bellocchio to Variety.
In the film’s cast, we find Paolo Pierobon in the role of Pope Pius IX, Enea Sala who plays Edgardo as a child and Leonardo Maltese as an adult. Fausto Russo Alesi – who previously collaborated with Bellocchio in The traitor and Esterno notte – and Barbara Ronchi (Not too soon) play his parents. The Abduction will be released on November 1, the same day as the documentary Marx can waitalso directed by Bellocchio.