Is ‘The Catholic School’ Based On A True Story? What Is ‘The Circeo Massacre?’

‘The Circeo Massacre’ dates back to September 1975. This heinous incident created huge havoc in the minds of the people. Based on a true story, “The Catholic School” is a 2021 crime-thriller film that is currently airing on Netflix. The movie provides a glimpse of the catastrophic experiences that Rosaria and Donatella had to face. Three men were convicted of brutal abuse against these women. Even though they were punished for their sins, some things leave a huge mark on our hearts. These girls couldn’t step out of their painful memories as they had to carry them throughout their lives. Every scene in this movie will give a strong answer to the reason that caused the Circeo massacre. In the beginning, the movie highlights all the events that occurred six months before the heinou crime. Viewers will be aware of the characters that are placed in the movie. These characters belong to an all-boys school, and every person has their own issues to deal with. Some of them were brutally punished by their parents as boys had to maintain their manly posture, and if they failed to do so, they’d be mocked for the entirety.


“The Catholic School” will enlighten the viewers on several aspects like homosexuality, parental behavior, bullying, and toxic masculinity. Here we are introduced to Gianni and Angelo. Through Gian, both of them were instantly hooked on  the girls that Gian had met. Donatella and Nadia asked for a ride, and Gian helped them out to reach Montagnola. The girls were indeed pretty open-minded and fun-loving, but Gianni and Angelo had malicious intentions. Including them was a huge mistake as their fun meeting quickly turned into an obsession. Gian had lied about his whole identity, and throughout the conversations, they thought that Gian’s actual name was Carlo. Meanwhile, Nadia didn’t show up since she canceled the plan, but to fill up the gap, Donatella invited her neighbor Rosaria. Together, they all planned to watch a movie and then spend the whole evening partying at Carlo’s villa.

Excited to watch the sunset at their place, Donatella and Rosaria agreed to the plan. Once they got there, things quickly escalated as the girls were threatened at gunpoint. Throughout the whole night, Gianni and Angelo locked them up in the bathroom. The following day, Angelo lost his patience, and the girls were sexually abused and harassed by these two men. As time passed by, Andrea stopped by and decided to join Gianni and Angelo. To make things easier, the trio swore to both the girls and committed physical violence as well. They were hurt to the point where Donatella and Rosaria’s faces were unrecognizable. In this process, Rosaria lost her life, but Donatella managed to survive as she pretended to be dead. Andrea asked them to dispose of their bodies while Gianni handed over the car keys to Angelo.


Gianni had to reach home, so he handed over the responsibility to Angelo. Angelo quickly parked the car around Gianni’s house and left the crime scene immediately. But Donatella took this opportunity and decided to voice her pain. A watchman was strolling around when he caught her screaming for help. Here, cops were informed, and they quickly figured out that the car belonged to Gianni’s father. While his father decided to check  on him, Gianni had already escaped. Angelo was caught instantly while he was passing around Gianni’s house. The three men were found guilty of their sins. But as it is explained in the movie, at the time of this massacre, sexual abuse against women was not considered to be a crime by the person who had committed it, and the whole scenario was blamed on the public’s moral values. This case went on for a very long time, and finally, the three men were given life sentences.

But Angelo was released for good conduct in the year 2005, and guess what? He ended up murdering two more women. On the other hand, Gianni got his sentence reduced, and since then, he has been free. Andrea was not convicted due to a lack of information, but he passed away in the year 1994. “The Catholic School” highlights that the law has been cruel and ignorant about such issues. Rosaria and Donatella suffered in the worst ways and Rosaria lost her life. Even though Donatella managed to survive, that experience inflicted not only physical and psychological damage. This incident changed multiple things in Italy since people couldn’t trust anyone anymore. Another important factor in this movie was the generational gap between parents and their children. There was a lack of conversation, and many of them failed to understand the right ways to deal with their children. Even though they all belonged from a good background, the boys were negatively influenced by the consumption of drugs and alcohol.


See more: ‘The Catholic School’ Review: A Film That Struggles In Its Entire Duration

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Raschi Acharya
Raschi Acharya
Raschi Acharya is a Mass Media graduate and she is currently working and living in Mumbai. From a very young age, Raschi was heavily interested in reading and writing. She prefers to write everything that her mind nurtures her to do as shaping up her imagination is her forte!

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