An astonishingly powerful conspiracy thriller. Enrico Mattei, head of the state-owned oil firm AGIP and president of ENI, the man Time dubbed 'the most powerful Italian since Caesar Augustus', died in 1962 in a highly suspicious air crash. His death was followed by a wall of silence. In the light of his championship of the Italian economy against the machinations of international cartels, his death - in fact and in Rosi's masterful film - carries a sickening political inevitability. Rosi casts the film along the lines of an inquest, and pieces together not simply a picture of the man himself (Volonté, brilliantly cast), but of the dynamics of capital, the role of the media, and the traps to which the individualist hero can't help but fall prey. The Mattei Affair is Point Blank played out at the level of power politics and monopolistic economic intrigue. Essential viewing.