Riccardo Scamarcio, Isabelle Huppert and Louis Garrel star in writer/director Michele Placido's eagerly-anticipated new historical drama depicting the struggles of the notorious Baroque painter as he's investigated by the Vatican.
Italy 1600. Michelangelo Merisi – better known as Caravaggio – is a brilliant artist and a rebel against the stringent rules dictated by the Council of Trent governing the representation of sacred art. After learning that Caravaggio uses prostitutes, thieves and vagabonds as models in his sacred paintings, Pope Paul V commissions a secret Vatican agent to carry out a full investigation, to decide whether to grant the pardon the painter requested after being sentenced to death for killing one of his love rivals in a duel. The Shadow starts his undercover investigation of the painter who – with his life as with his art – fascinates, upsets, subverts… A Shadow who will hold in his hands absolute power of life and death over the fate of a genius. Written, directed by and starring Michele Placido, who – after a fifty-year career and four years working on the project – delivers his fourteenth film as director. The film explores the intricate and adventurous existence of Michelangelo Merisi, aka Caravaggio, revealing his deep contradictions and the darkness of his profound torment. Rebellious and restless, devout and scandalous, independent and transgressive, the Caravaggio that Placido unveils is a cursed artist of absolute talent, but above all a rock star ante litteram, a rebel without a cause forced to face the disturbing implications of a reckless life – with all its women and demons – in which genius and unruliness coexist, to give us an timeless character, an endlessly fascinating and universal icon.