Il maestro e Margherita - Giovanni Brancale

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Giovanni Brancale, born on August 11, 1955, lives in Florence. He is a doctor, specialist in paediatrics. Ever since university he devoted himself, with some friends, in activities for children with puppet shows and video. After an experience as a doctor in Africa, in Benin, he returned to Italy where he works as a family practitioner. Next to this activity, he has started a career as movie director, by making a cinematographic trilogy: three long-length films of almost one hour each which take place in Florence. In the name of the Father is the first chapter, followed by Salvatore Rabbunì and The Formula. In 2008 Giovanni Brancale finshed Il maestro e Margherita, inspired by the novel of Mikhail Bulgakov.

To put it mildly: the story is losely based on The Master and Margarita, but you shouldn't expect a faithful representation of the novel. In the spring of the contemporary Florence, the mysterious Woland bursts into the city, and with his suite he causes riot and makes relive the ancient history of the procurator Pilate and his friend Yeshua, written by the master. «Farcical moments which mix with hilarious and dramatic moments, converge towards an unpredictable finale», the director said himself.

Most Bulgakov-lovers will probably shudder when they see this movie. The story is not situated in Moscow: the discreet protagonist of the film is the city of Florence which is transformed into Jerusalem at the time of Pilate and which becomes the actual decor for the story of Woland, the master and Margarita.

The director said that he «used the tradition of Renaissance in which the ci-ty is presented as the background of unforgettable annonciations of births and crucifixions».

According to him, the effect of neorealism is created by using amateur actors. «A double act of love towards a well-beloved book, The Master and Margarita by Bulgakov, and a well-beloved city: Florence», he said.

The film hasn't been very successful yet. After having been kept in the drawer of a distributor in London for several years, it has been shown for the first time in the historic cinema Odeon in Florence on March 6, 2011.

Technical details


Giovanni Brancale

Giovanni Bogani, Claudia Bonacchi, Antonio Paoletti, Mauro Seravalli

Release date

140 min.


Italian, English, French

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