MENOCCHIO THE HERETIC
Italy, late 16th century. The Roman Catholic Church, feeling threatened in its hegemony by the Protestant reform movement, unleashes the first systematic state war for the total mind control. The new confessional, designed in these very years, is transformed from a space for the consolation of souls to a tribunal of thought. Eavesdropping, spying and denunciation of neighbors are made mandatory, on the pain of excommunication, prison or the pyre. Menocchio, the old, stubborn, self-educated miller of a small village lost in the mountains of Friuli decides to oppose the new order. Accused of heresy, he ignores the pleading of friends and family. Instead of fleeing or standing down, he stands trial. He is not only tired of violence, abuse, taxes and injustice. Menocchio is genuinely convinced that as a man, he is the equal of any bishop, the inquisitors, and even the Pope and hopes, feels and believes he can reconvert them to an ideal of poverty and love.