Author: Rodolf Sirera
Benedicat is set at two moments in history and two very different places: in the Kingdom of Croatia (a puppet state of fascist Italy and Nazi Germany) in the 1940s, and in Italy in the 1970s. In the first period, we witness the triumph of the fanaticism of the Croat Ustashe who, with the collusion of the Church (its hierarchy and also simple priests), set up a regime of extermination and terror before which the Italian troops could do very little. Army captain Renzo Montale, posted in a small locality in Croatia under Italian military control, would be fascinated by the powerful personality of Franciscan priest Antun Radic and would refuse to see what is really happening around him. The weight of the guilt for not having avoided a massacre, and the anguish brought by having betrayed the family and religious expectations placed in him, will provoke a breakdown in his psychological balance from which he will never recover.