Marco Bellocchio was an Italian filmmaker whose five decades-plus career made him an important figure in the rich cinematic history of his home country. Bellocchio was born November 9, 1939 in Bobbie, Italy to a devoted family that not only supported his chosen career but funded his first film, "Fists in the Pocket" (1965), which was filmed at the family home. The film won immediate acclaim, taking home the Silver Sail award at the Festival del film Locarno. Bellocchio's next feature was the politically-charged "China is Near" (1967). A friend of fellow Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini, the two soon became poster boys for the radical Italian cinema of the era. In fact, Bellocchio joined the Communist Union in 1968, and later produced a short that argued that the educational system of the day needed to be overthrown. He next set his sights on another long-standing institution, the Catholic Church, for "In the Name of the Father" (1971), a brutal satire of Catholic boarding schools. Equally pointed films such as "Slap the Monster on Page One" (1972), "Fit to Be Tied" (1975), "Victory March" (1976) and "Il Gabbiano" (1977) followed. However, as the 1970s came to a close, the director's slant changed, as his political passion dissipated into more personal work such as "Vacation in Val Trebbia" (1980), which highlighted his own marital problems. A prodigious director, Bellocchio turned out 25 projects -- including award-winning endeavors such as "The Conviction" (1991), "The Prince of Homburg" (1997) and "The Nanny" (1999) -- over the next three decades. His late-career gem "Dormant Beauty" (2012), presenting multiple interwoven tales exploring the meaning of life, earned the director a further plethora of international plaudits.