Friday, July 23, 2004


In Italian with English subtitles

While North America and most of the rest of the world was experiencing the sexual revolution in the early 60’s, Italy was also experiencing social, economic, political, and religious revolutions. The late 1960s and early 1970s were characterised by a series of short-lived, mainly coalition governments. In 1968 students demanding educational reforms clashed with police on university campuses in Rome and other cities, and workers called general strikes to urge an overhaul of the social security system. As Italy’s economic problems worsened public confidence in the government declined and support for the Communist Party increased. Extreme left-wing terrorists preyed on politicians, police, journalists, and businessmen. In March 1978 former Prime Minister Aldo Moro was kidnapped by a fanatical left-wing group, the Red Brigades, which made Moro’s release contingent on the freeing of other terrorists from Italian jails. The government refused to deal with Moro’s captors, and he was subsequently found murdered.

Luigi Lo Cascio: Nicola Carati in 1966 studying literature; later to become a psychiatrist
Alessio Boni: Matteo, his brother, studying medicine
Fabrizio Gifuni: Carlo Tommasi, their friend who becomes an economist
Jasmine Trinca: Giorgia, a young schizophrenic girl
Sonia Bergamasco: Giulia, a talented piano player with sympathies for the Red Brigade
Maya Sansa: Mirella, a photographer

This is an epic overview of the impact the changes in Italy had on one family during the course of some twenty years or so. In typical European style of movie making it moves along at a leisurely pace with lots of time devoted to character development.

for language and brief nudity (but compared to other R rated movies hardly deserving of this classification)

While Nicola is taking an oral exam at university two pens in front of the professor are laying on the table in the shape of a V; when the exam is over and Nicola stands up the pens are parallel to each other.

Shortly after Nicola and Giulia enter an enclosed courtyard, she drops a big stone which lands near the edge of the walkway; when they sit down to talk the stone is no longer close to the edge.

With a budget of over $10 million this is a major undertaking. It took the writers five years to complete the script whereas filming took just 6 months in 240 locations involving as many as 2,000 actors. The editing took one year and the film is being released in two parts because of its lengthy total run time of 6 hours (Part 1 is 3 hours and 6 minutes long). Originally intended for television, the producers were unable to get permission to air the film because it was deemed by the authorities to be “politically incorrect”.

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