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This is the story of two brothers that have not talked to each other
for 40 years because one is ashamed of the other due to his brother's
(Nino Manfredi) declared homosexuality. A trick of their death mother
brings them together to carry her remains to the land where she was
A wonderful movie with all the warm feelings that only the Italians can bring so well to the screen.
The movie teaches a lesson to the people that are used to live according to conventions. A beautiful comedy very well told and filmed that will make you cry and laugh. It is a must to see it.
Manfredi is as good as always, the music by Enrico Morricone is also great as well is the photography.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Francesco and Nicola are brothers who have not seen each other for
forty years. Francesco left the small town in Puglia where he was born
and raised after he came out, declaring he was gay. Being an admired
school teacher at the time, it was a big scandal, so Francesco decided
to spare his family the disgrace he had caused by declaring publicly
his sexual orientation.
When his mother dies, Francesco makes an entrance in the church where the mother's funeral is being held. Nicola, who has moved North and became rich in the process, is horrified watching his brother appear suddenly. At the burial, both brothers are surprised as a notary appears to read a will the mother left behind. She wants to be buried next to her husband in her hometown.
What follows is a road movie where Francesco and Nicola must work between themselves the years they have not kept in touch. This film made for Italian television, shown recently on cable was new to us. The fact that the great Nino Manfredi was in it, was the deciding factor for watching it. As it turns out, it was an entertaining way to spend a couple of hours in good company.
Alberto Simone, the director co-wrote the script with Silvia Napolitano. At heart, there is positive message because we get to know the terrible shame Nicola suffered when the small minded town rejected his brother for being different. The prejudice of the time made it worst than it really needed to be, something that in today's society would have not even raised eyebrows, but homosexuality in such a society, dominated by the church, turned out to separate and divide the family.
Nino Manfredi made the film two years, or so, before he died. Mr. Manfredi was a welcome presence in any film he graced, and it is no exception here. He worked effortlessly to create his Francesco. Lino Banfi is equally excellent as Nicola, the long suffering brother who felt betrayed by his brother's absence. Both actors showed good chemistry. Along the way we are treated to watch some beautiful scenery of Italy captured by the cinematographer Stefano Riccioti and with a tuneful score by Ennio Morricone.
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