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A brother, Earland Josephson, returns to his family home to visit his sister in the Italian countryside. He brings with him his young male lover. In the house with the sister are two women, one of whom, Mariangela Melato, takes care of the farm. The two women are friends and lovers since childhood and one senses that Melato's relationship is shadowed by the relationship she had with her mother shown through wonderful flashbacks. The brother also has wonderful memories of his and his sister's childhood in that same house with their father who was a magician. Following a night out at a lovely restaurant in the woods, other memories of the past are aroused in the Brother. The next day they all plan to drive to Venice where his sister sang opera in her youth for a holiday. Fate intervenes.
This movie is the best I've ever seen. It revolves around a brother and sister, both gay and involved, coming together at their mother's house. Many intricate flashbacks lead the viewer through the family's history up to the present importance of the gathering. Ironically, everything turned out exactly the opposite of what earlier years promised to bring. When the mother, an opera singer, dies, both son and daughter are faced with the reality of what they have become. This not only puts stress on them, but also challenges their relationships. The story is told with the most beautiful, almost understated visual themes, making the cinematography alone a feast.
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