Riccardo Scamarcio, Isabelle Huppert and Louis Garrel star in writer/director Michele Placido’s engrossing new historical drama depicting the struggles of the notorious Renaissance painter as he’s investigated by the Vatican.
Italy 1610. Michelangelo Merisi (Scamarcio), better known as Caravaggio, ignores Catholic Church rulings that dictate how religious subjects are to be represented. Having been informed that he transfigures prostitutes, thieves and vagabonds into saints and Madonnas in his work, Pope Paul V orders the Vatican secret service to investigate, to decide whether to grant the clemency for which Caravaggio has petitioned since being sentenced to death for the murder of a rival in love.
The investigator (Garrel) – known as The Shadow – begins the inquiry that will lead him to discover the conflicting vices and virtues of the artist whose life – or death – lies in his hands.