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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have to watch this movie in Italian which I don't speak. Thanks to Eva and my Spanish I can understand it. I might have missed some of the more subtle nuances but this will be a beloved movie all my life. It is so important to show films that highlight that it wasn't only Jews who were victims of fascist hatred. This is one of Rupert Everett's best yet so little known. It should be available in every country and language. It moved me more than "Captain Correlli" or "Tea with Mussolini" . The demise of the doctor is sickening and the cowardice of the majority of David's fellow students deplorable. These were the intellectual elite who should have been able to see through the lies and hatred of fascism. As a friend said maybe we would all do what Nora does to try to save herself but she is a fool. You probably could hide Jewish roots but very rarely I am sure. How much better to keep your dignity and know that with so much hatred these evil people would lose because they would make most of the World their enemy. I recently found out that Ferrara is noted for rain and bicycles all of which feature along with the beautiful settings .I look at David's little sister and then I want to weep for all the children killed by that evil. This film should be used for educational purposes , as beautiful as it is I can't call it mere entertainment. There is a book that I have on order that will fill out more detail. How sad that it might be only Eva and I who have bothered to celebrate this movie .
I was deeply moved by original version of this movie despite my survival Italian. Recently, I had the chance to see it again with English subtitles. Yes, indeed, watching as The Gold Rimmed Glasses verifies my earlier conclusion that it delivers a timeless story on rise of oppression and versatility of human emotions -- in the very negative sense-- depending on political climate, in other words, societal readiness for submission. Based on Giorgio Bassani's novel, The Gold Rimmed Glasses unfolds story of outcasts on two levels, social-political and individual. Set in 1938 Ferrara, Italy, those layers are interwoven beautifully. University student David (Rupert Everett), a wealthy Jewish family witnesses in great despair the rise of Mussolini fascism along with increasingly alarming racial laws and neighborhood hate and hostility. Staying calm on the eve of a world war becomes a virtual reality for Jews and anyone "different," which brings second layer of the story come into play. Played by Phillippe Noiret, doctor Fadigati is not a Jew but feels like one of the "others" because of his homosexuality. He wants his own life and keep cool as much as possible, however, the inevitable game of survival with rise of fascism haunts him in the aftermath of his boyfriend's abuse. In a poisoned atmosphere, where Mussolini finds alliance with Hitler, only David and Fadigati can understand and support each other. Dismayed by his girlfriend's decision to convert to Catholicism, David does his best to rage against changing times, whereas Fadigati yields to his fate. Under Giuliano Montaldo's direction, Phillippe Noiret and Rupert Everett are wonderful in their roles. They deserve extra credit by playing Italian characters considering former being French and latter being British. A great movie in Italian, I hope, The Gold Rimmed Glasses gets digital restoration eventually to receive international acclamation it deserves.
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