Rossellini's tribute to Socrates (like other similar ventures of his) have suffered into the hands of critics who failed, maybe, to discern continuities with Rossellini's sparse style in those of his films where he criticizes modernity's moral vacuum. The recreation of Athens is splendid (in its artificial integrity) and Socrates' teaching still as revolutionary as ever and, typically, for Rossellini, Christian too.
Plato's dialogues have a literary brilliancy that transfers quite well to video. Rossellini takes advantage of this, and also Sylvere's great performance, to showcase Plato's timeless stories, but also to show us things best captured by a camera, like everyday life in Greece. Though he can only approximate the intellectual splendor of the Apology, this film is a more emotionally moving experience. Thank you maestro!
I liked the trial section to the ending, but the endless scenes of talking before hand drew me down a bit. I did notice the effect of cutting between random people blathering on and Socrates made me focus on Socrates more, but I feel like a shorter, more succinct approach would have worked better. What Rossellini examines here is important, it just felt dull in its presentation.
An entertaining and leisurely educational film about our favorite ancient Athenian philosopher Socrates, which features some well-known epigrams, but sadly doesn't show Socrates' comical side at all, which in my opinion is quite a missed opportunity and flaw. Furthermore, it's pretty dry and long-winded, although the trial scene is good. Not a perfect biography maybe, but an interesting historical film nonetheless.