What do we know about our parents --
their true ideals, beliefs, and dreams?
How can we be certain?
Shortly after his father's death, Gianni Orzan reaches the disturbing conclusion that his father did not love him. Aloof and dismissive, Maurizio Orzan seldom had anything to say to his son. Moreover, he was a staunch fascist.
Or so Gianni thought. Then comes the day he's contacted by a complete stranger who has a disquieting familiarity with his life. In what amounts to kidnapping, the stranger pursues an urgent mission: to convince Gianni that the father he knew was an illusion; that Maurizio was, in fact, a double agent for the KGB.
What is Gianni to believe? If this stranger's revelations are true, they threaten to destroy Gianni's steadfast beliefs about his father's shameful, self-created identity and promise to send his life crashing down around him.
Narrated with deft wit and subtle reflection, The Force of the Past -- winner of Italy's Viareggio-Repaci Prize and the Premio Campiello and a finalist for the Zerilli-Marimò prize -- is an insightful look at how one son tries to comprehend his father's mysterious complexities, as well as a provocative, ironic examination of how men construct their own subjective versions of reality.