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Johnny the Partisan (2000)
"Il partigiano Johnny" (original title)

 |  Drama  |  17 November 2000 (Italy)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 226 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 2 critic

After the 8th September 1943 north of Italy is occupied by Germans. Italian army collapsed and the soldiers are escaped to the mountains trying to set up a resistance. Many civilians did ... See full summary »

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Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Stefano Dionisi ...
Johnny
Andrea Prodan ...
Pierre
...
Ettore
...
Nemega
...
Biondo
Claudio Amendola ...
Nord
Stefano Scherini ...
Vico
Chiara Muti ...
Elda
Umberto Orsini ...
Pinin
Barbara Lerici ...
Sonia
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Felice Andreasi
...
Johnny's mother
Toni Bertorelli ...
Johnny's father
Marilena Biestro ...
Flavio Bonacci ...
Chiodi
Edit

Storyline

After the 8th September 1943 north of Italy is occupied by Germans. Italian army collapsed and the soldiers are escaped to the mountains trying to set up a resistance. Many civilians did the same and Johnny, an English literature student, is among them. Johnny avoids to band together the red partisans (communists) and tries to be part of the azure bands (former regular soldiers). But in both cases he is deluded by the partisan bands and discovers that the partisan war is less poetic and genuine that he thought. At one point anyway the partisans free Alba from Germans. When the city falls again in German hands Johnny escape with Ettore and Pierre. But, one after another, German army and Italian fascists captures the partisans and Johnny will pass the winter alone and isolated. He then finds the way to participate to one of the last attack to occupants, in fact the war will be over two months later. Written by 1felco

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17 November 2000 (Italy)  »

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Johnny the Partisan  »

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User Reviews

 
The bright side of boredom
13 April 2012 | by See all my reviews

Boredom. In a sense this film, based very faithfully on Fenoglio's book, is a philosophical study on life as a sequence of periods of boredom, shattered by sudden action. And WAR seems to depict this condition perfectly. Viewers seeking traditional war-movie gimmicks, beware. This film embarks on another, far more realistic, depiction of 'action'. It reminds us that true ethics in war (in this case the Partisan's Anti-Fascist cause), come with severe sacrifice. Hunger, fear, cold, and... boredom. The movie centers on 'Johnny'...partisan codename for our intellectual protagonist... and on the fellow fighters who come in and out of his personal sphere during the German occupation of northern Italy. Here, 'the enemy' is not only foreign, but (most bitterly) local; Italian. Much dialogue and voice-over is dedicated to Johnny's musings, doubts and convictions about the whole affair. It is an intellectual's movie.But that doesn't make it an élitist film. It stays by the side of the common man, straight to the end. And it doesn't shun sudden outbreaks of action. As a spectator I was constantly made to 'feel' the biting cold of the 'langhe' region where,(all the more realistically), the true events portrayed actually took place. Death appears in a burst of sudden gunfire amidst the bracken, and just as promptly all is calm and bucolic again. Chiesa's direction is dry, maybe a trifle stiff in interiors... but on the whole he is able to maintain the balance between literature and film which "Il Partigiano..." requires. All acting is very effective. On seeing Steven Soderbergh's approach to filming the two CHE GUEVARA films a couple of years back I was instantly convinced that THIS movie was viewed by Del Toro or Soderbergh first, and used as a guideline for how 'guerrilla' movies (as a pose to fully-fledged 'army movies') should be shot. It is no small achievement that this film has paved the way for a truly realistic approach to the 'existential' tangle of war, putting aside the flamboyant, adrenalistic, gung-ho style of the various 'Platoons' or 'Apocalypse Nows'. If you can find it...see it. And pore through it as you would a good book.


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