Bertolucci’s Cave: a Platonic reading of The Conformist

Halfway through Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Conformist (Il Conformista 1970) the protagonist, Marcello Clerici, visits the Parisian home of his former teacher, Professor Quadri. After entering his study, Clerici recounts Quadri’s lectures on Plato’s allegory of the Cave. This video-essay examines Bertolucci’s use of Plato’s cave imagery throughout the film.