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Bologna, Italy, Pre-war scenario. Michele Casali's only teenage daughter, Giovanna Casali, poses a problem to him. Driven by jealousy, she has just killed her best friend. After a painful trial, Giovanna is sent to to a psychiatric hospital due to her ¨non compus mentis¨ state . Michele is the only person that takes care of Giovanna during her isolated time at the hospital. Giovanna's mother, Delia, has never had a good relationship with her daughter, something which comes out to be more evident during Giovanna's time in reclusion. Meanwhile, Giovanna and Michele's already strong father-daughter link. Sergio, who is a police inspector and a close friend of Michele's, is the main witness of the whole situation and he is also in love with Delia. By the end of the war, Delia and Sergio took distance from Giovanna and Michele and went Northwards. In 1953, in a small cinema, the original family has an expected encounter. Written by
Touching, sad character study of a father forever protective and loving of his ever more deranged daughter, who murders a boy she is obsessed with in high school. The film covers the years that follow as the father refuses to ever give up on his daughter, no matter what she has done, and what his loyalty costs him.
This could have been sappy or melodramatic, but the acting is all beautifully understated and real, and the background of the rise of fascism and the ravages of WWII in Italy gives a larger context to the questions of guilt, innocence, forgiveness and loyalty.
A quiet film, but a strikingly memorable one.
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