Pietro Marcello Shooting ‘Duse’ With Valeria Bruni Tedeschi

Italian auteur Pietro Marcello – whose 2019 film “Martin Eden” made a splash on the international art-house scene – is shooting “Duse,” a movie about legendary Italian stage diva Eleonora Duse. Valeria Bruni Tedeschi stars as Duse and Noémie Merlant (“Portrait of a Lady on Fire”) plays her daughter.

The Match Factory has acquired international rights to “Duse” and is kicking off sales on this buzzy biopic in Cannes. See an exclusive first-look image above.

Duse, who lived between 1858 and 1924, was considered by many the greatest actress of her time. She performed in many countries, most notably in plays by Gabriele D’Annunzio and Henrik Ibsen.

Marcello’s “Duse” will look at the latter part of her life when she is 60 “and her legendary career is now long over,” says the provided synopsis.

“But in the brutal years between the First World War and the rise of fascism, the Divina chooses to return to where her life began: on the stage,” the description continues. “Constantly struggling with the brutality of events and power, and clinging to the possibility of utopia, she makes her art a revolutionary act, even at the cost of sacrificing health and affection. And she faces her final journey aware that she can renounce to life itself, but not to her own true nature.”

In a statement, Match Factory managing director Michael Weber said that “Pietro Marcello brilliantly demonstrates his prowess in bringing intellectual characters to life with profound humanity.”

“Delving into the legacy of the greatest theater actress of her era, a true revolutionary in the realm of theater, Marcello’s vision is elevated further with the casting choices of Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and Noémie Merlant,” he added.

“Duse” is co-produced by Italy’s Palomar and Avventurosa with France’s Ad Vitam. It marks the fifth collaboration between Marcello and The Match Factory, which represents rights for the director’s “For Lucio,” “Futura,” “Martin Eden” and “Lost and Beautiful.”

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