Petri, Elio (Eraclio)
Film director After working as a journalist for L’Unità, and as a screenwriter (particularly for Giuseppe De Santis), Petri made his directorial debut in 1961 with L’assassino (The Murderer). A French-influenced police thriller, it displayed the mixture of symbolism and realism which, along with a concentration on politics and the exercise of power, was to characterize all of Petri’s films. His blend of biting satire and political commitment is most explicit in the 1970 Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto (Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion), a caustic critique of the untouchability of corrupt police. La classe operaia va in paradiso (also released as Lulu the Tool), a treatise on industrial exploitation, won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1971. Todo modo (One Way or Another) (1976), adapted from a novel by Leonardo Sciascia, mercilessly exposes the rotten core of the ruling Christian Democrat Party.