Synopsis: This made for television film chronicles the illustrious life of French philosopher René Descartes (1596-1650)
150 min

He drew the six stars of the

Bull, the Pleiades are called,

six, because the seventh

hardly ever appears,

around which another

invisible to the

naked eye, far away

by no more than

just half a degree.

By virtue of his telescope, a very

faithful copy of which I show you here,

obtained with a system

of valuable Dutch lenses,

the Milky Way, which

appeared to us like a cloud,

has been inspected and studied

to such a precise degree that we

can call the countless disputes

that tormented philosophers

for centuries as resolved.

The galaxy, in fact, appeared

clearly like a tannery

of countless stars.

The thing is clear

in whatever region

the observer directs

the telescope at.

Galileo Galilei then divulged

that four planets exist in the skies,

that have never been seen

since the origins of the world

and that he had discovered and observed

their positions, over two months.

They told us that the mathematician

of the Grand Duke of Florence

has also discovered

the secret of sun spots,

what news do you

give us on this point?

At Florence I discovered that Galilei

has studied this point a good deal

but unfortunately he still

cannot give a definitive reply,

or better, if the spots are

really vapours, exhalations,

clouds, or fumes produced

by the solar body.

About the nature of these

spots he is still uncertain

as there could be a thousand

other things we cannot see.

But the thing about the sun,

he believes he can state,

as an absolute certainty,

one of his convictions, agreeing

his studies with those of

the Pole Copernicus is that

the mobility of the earth

is the stability of the sun

around which the planets move

according to fixed orbits.

May I?

Yes go ahead.

If Mr Galilei

insists in his mistake...

It's not a mistake, it's

a reasonable hypothesis.

But he's denying the Bible, Joshua

in fact told the sun to stop

and on his command, the sun,

moving through the skies, stopped.

It is clear that the words

of the Bible must be

interpreted in a different

way. And Galilei...

I am saying that if he continues

to insist in his mistake

I do not see why

you should divulge

his theory to us,

right here at the noble

La Fleche college.

You have talked of Galilei

as if he were a new Aristotle,

his doctrine is mistaken,

an error he has committed

because of his pride which

confuses the faith of the people.

The earth is at the centre of

the universe, all the testimonies

of men , of the humble

just like of the learned,

confirm this truth from

the beginning of time.

I find all your disdain

exaggerated Mr De Bastion.

Our intelligence must

never be subjected

to an unreasonable

fear of an error,

it must confront it and know it,

in order to win over it.

Galilei's hypotheses have raised

numerous criticisms every where,

men of science and of the

church have rushed to warn him,

but as far as we know,

a definitive judgement

has still not been

pronounced about his doctrine.

And if his calculations

prove to be correct,

they will not be able to

contradict the truth in any way.

I think it is important for

all of you to apply yourselves

to studying the information

that Mr De Simone has brought

us from Florence. Deo Gratia.

Deo Gratia.

May the others come forward.

I say that it is absurd

to compare Galileo to Aristotle.

Aristotle constructed his doctrine

on a perfect system

of syllogisms,

while Galileo's science is

born by observing the Universe.

Talking is not allowed

Mr Descartes

Excuse me Gentlemen.

Swords in line. Salute.

On guard.


On guard. Knee-flex.

On guard. Knew-flex.

On guard. Second defence.

On guard.


On guard. At ease.

Lunge. On guard.


Come forward!

You asked permission to read

Cornelio Agrippa's text

''Natural Magic'' and the one by

Giovanni Battista Della Porta

on the same subject.

Yes, I wish to compare them.

I like curious things.

They say that in ''Natural Magic''

there are the best explanations

about magnetism

that can be read

and the most acute observations

about the obscure chamber.

I give you permission

to read them,

but I must remind you

about what our rule advises.

In these kinds of studies

it opportune to incite, push

and encourage those in need

and it is necessary to slow

down those who run too fast.

And you my dear

Descartes run a lot.

Our purpose is

that of acquiring knowledge

to help souls with the aid of God,

and therefore, in every study we follow

the strictest and most appropriate doctrine

and we adopt the authors who

teach this and an order is followed.

This why only after

having laid down a solid foundation

with a knowledge of Latin,

humanistic arts and logic,

natural and moral philosophy,

metaphysics and theology

can become the object of careful study

I adhere scrupulously to this rule.

But I do not feel any

enthusiasm for these sciences.

I know.

Cornelio Agrippa's book

on natural magic

will certainly give you more pleasure

than a scholastic philosophical text.

Go now.

I thank you Father.

Young Descartes is full of curiosity,

I gave him permission to

read another two books.

His passion for the new

sciences is perhaps excessive.

He is convinced that if the

new sciences lead towards the truth,

they help one to discover and

love God who is the real truth.

Are you still studying?

I asked for permission to be able

to conclude this reading of optics.

I know and tomorrow you

are leaving the college.

Ah, it's Della Porta again.

You love physics very much

But truthfully, have you always

been diligent in every subject?

I was a pupil of this

college for nine years,

and I don't think there is another place

in world, where they teach philosophy better,

but you are correct,

the new sciences

are the ones I loved the most.

You want to become a mathematician,

astronomy, isn't that true?

Yes, but my father ordered

me to take the Diploma in Law

at Poitiers University, and

law doesn't interest me at all.

What are you going to do then?

I don't know yet...

Father, I will try to find out.

Give me your news when you can,

I wouldn't like not

knowing any more about you,

the important thing however,

is for you not to get lost in the world

and to do everything

for the greater glory of God.

Of course.

I'll try not to get lost.

Ah the ''Angelus''.

Let's go.

Straightaway after,

I'll get back to reading.

The King's guards have

killed her husband,

Grand Marshal Dams,

the leader of the government.

The faults of bad

government are his.

She was the black

soul of her husband.

The two Italians, with

the Queen's favour

expected to govern France.

I know that Luigi XIII

has given proof of great ability,

he's got rid of them and

the people are satisfied.

Is Mr Le Vasseur at home?

Yes Sir.

Rene Descartes, Landlord of Peron.

Let him in.

I've been awaiting you for several days.

How's your father?

He wrote to me...

But truly...

I don't know sir,

I come from far away,

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Marcella Mariani

Marcella Mariani (Rome, Italy, 8 February 1936 – Monte Terminillo, Italy, 15 February 1955) was an Italian actress and Miss Italy contest winner. Though she appeared in several popular movies and was garnering acclaim as an actress, her career was cut short by her death in a 1955 airliner crash. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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