A lucid no-holds-barred analysis of a society being destroyed by political corruption and moral debauchery
Luigi Zampa anticipates the great age of protest cinema, by ten years
Luigi Zampa’s skill as a director moved between comedy and civic drama. Il magistrato is definitely in the latter category, although it still manages to appeal to and satisfy a wider public, something the director was consistently successful in achieving. It’s a lucid, raw, no-holds-barred film, that digs at the perverted mechanisms of a society in which morals and politics are rapidly changing (and decaying). The winning screenplay is made all the more convincing thanks to a complex and stratified narrative, deftly and subtly examining hopelessly corrupt characters and environments. Set in Genoa (without ever clearly stating as much), the film anticipates political and social exposé cinema, which will be fully developed during the 1960s.