No flattery in unauthorized Berlusconi film bio

Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:35am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Philip Pullella

ROME (Reuters) - Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's late mother knew early on that her boy would be destined to do great things but she was wrong when she predicted that he would never go around with women.

Rosa Berlusconi, who died in 2008, is one of the many protagonists of a new documentary on Berlusconi "Silvio Forever," an unauthorized biography that will certainly not bring smiles to the prime minister or his supporters.

"He worked his whole life. He gave well-being to everyone," Rosa Berlusconi says at the start of the 80-minute film.

"Silvio Forever" uses old photographs, TV footage and audio to let "Berlusconi tell his own story," as one of the authors put it at a press preview on Tuesday ahead of a March 25 release.

The overall thrust of the documentary is unfavorable to the 74-year-old prime minister.

Using original clips and an actor with a voice similar to his to read from Berlusconi's writings, it retraces the life and times of Italy's most powerful man.

The documentary zooms in on Berlusconi's most recent judicial woes. There are scenes of Ruby, the teenage girl Berlusconi is accused of having paid for sex, performing in a soft-porn nightclub act. Other scenes show girls magistrates say took part in wild parties at Berlusconi's villa.

The audience at the screening burst into laughter when a very old clip was shown in which Berlusconi's late mother says: "He doesn't like the society scene. You will never find a photo of Silvio going around with women."   Continued...

<p>Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi arrives to brief the media after an extraordinary European Union leaders summit on Libya and North Africa, in Brussels March 11, 2011. REUTERS/Ezequiel Scagnetti</p>