Directed by Francesco Bertolini, Adolfo Padovan and Guiseppe de Liguoro
Starring Salvatore Papa, Arturo Pirovano
L’inferno is the oldest full-length movie that I’ve seen.
When it was new, it must have looked astounding on the screen.
It’s an epic filled with special effects
That look old and dated now,
But over a hundred years ago,
They must have awed and wowed.
It was the Star Wars of its day,
And in parts still looks impressive.
They used a lot of extras,
And some of the sets were massive.
The story is a simple one, based on a famous book:–
The Divine Comedy of Dante—
And we get to have a look
Into a popular section of that book, about a hot Inferno.
It’s about the punishments of the damned—
All the crooks and cheats and weirdos.
We follow the adventures of a man
Named Dante, a simple poet,
Who gets to meet his hero,
And explores Hell until he knows it.
He is taken on a guided tour,
Awakening fears that once were dormant,
And sees countless miserable human beings
Soaked in suffering and torment.
We see people in a whirlwind,
Blowing all around.
We see people up to their necks
Buried in the ground.
We see people burning in a lake
On which Dante rides a boat.
We see a giant monster
Stuffing people down his throat.
We meet specific people
Whom the poet must have known.
We see them being punished,
Reaping the seeds they must have sown.
We see a lot of naked men,
And some naked women, too,
Grieving in everlasting anguish,
Regretting their platitudes.
Though their suffering is endless,
The poet’s journey is not.
Eventually, he gets to leave,
And he leaves the damned to rot.
So…how does this movie hold up
After a century has passed?
I’ll admit that its shine has faded
And that its relevance did not last.
Certainly, people can still be punished,
And severely, as well,
But do most of us in the Western world
Fear an afterlife in Hell?
Nevertheless, I like this movie,
Despite its many flaws,
For this movie has a moral.
This movie has a cause.
It tells people to behave themselves,
Thus improving this world of ours.
That’s just one reason why I’m
Giving it four stars.