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Bernardo Bertolucci: The emperor’s new clothier

In his most ambitious film until now, “1900,” Bertolucci follows two families, through a man from each family, one rich, one poor, from birth to old age. It is storytelling both intimate and expansive. But his subject was not less than the history of Italy in the 20th century as he saw it — the division of haves and have-nots, the corrupting and dehumanizing powers of wealth, the latent forces of violent change.