Socrate – 1970
Review by Zetes
An excellent treatment of the last days of Socrates,
Apparently, no one else has seen this. That’s a pity. Anyone who has studied Plato would love it, I think. Of course, it doesn’t beat the actual reading of Plato’s dialogues, but it’s a nice supplement. The adaptation is straightforward. The Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, and Phaedo are reduced in size, but their contents are there. Also there is to be found pieces of The Republic and many others that I probably haven’t read yet (the Protagoras and Lysias are mentioned directly).
The Symposium, which is the only dialogue that I can say I know particularly well, is briefly alluded to. There’s also a great scene where a man teases Socrates by citing Aristophanes’ The Clouds, which was the play that, according to the Apology, sowed the seeds of his death. Rosselini’s direction is subtle and exquisite. The camera moves perfectly. The production design is great. A lot of research went into this to make it as accurate as possible.
I don’t know of any film that has done as well in these aspects. The acting is also perfect. The man who plays Socrates IS Socrates. 9/10.