The Front Line

The tumultuous political events of the late sixties that swept across Europe left a particular mark on Italy. The radical Red Brigades, committed to the violent overthrow of the state, were formed out of the student protests of 1968. Prima Linea was another Italian terrorist organization, founded in the late seventies and even more extreme in its methods.

De Maria tackles his subject from the perspective of his male protagonist, who looks back from his jail cell on his youthful exploits with understanding, candour and remorse. Believing there would be a coup by right-wing elements, a young Sergio goes underground, convinced the use of violence is a necessary choice. There he meets the equally committed Susanna, falls in love and continues to fight the brutal battle of a political extremist. Eventually, Sergio grows disenchanted with the tactics of the Prima Linea, but when Susanna is captured, he resorts to the methods he has learned as a militant to try to spring her from prison. [Synopsis courtesy of TIFF]