Winter 1943. Martina is small child, who stopped talking since the death of her infant brother some years before. She lives in a rural area of central Italy. Her mother is pregnant again ... See full summary »
It starts as a studio theatre: a good-natured, bit pedantic stationmaster performs his job at a railway station in the middle of nowhere. Eventually a beautiful, obviously very rich young ... See full summary »
While cleaning offices at night, George learns a lot about the employees by examining what they leave behind, carefully choosing his targets, always disillusioned women whom he seduces, ... See full summary »
The aging, conservative population of a small, sleepy village in the Italian Alps are surprised to see that a former French professor has settled there with his young wife and their three ... See full summary »
Painful family events lead Augusta to leave Italy. On a small boat, immersed in the Amazon Forest grandness, she begins a travel between Indios villages. From the favela to the isolation in the Forest, Augusta will go in search of herself.
The veterinary assistant Ulla have taken her job only for the opportunity to race on the small roads of Värmland. The big farmer's daughter Birgitta dreams about Paris but instead becomes ... See full summary »
Is a light amusing story about Nesio, a small time drug dealer who has never managed to get away from his mother or his childhood traumas, and carries on his back the stigma of a born loser... See full summary »
Winter 1943. Martina is small child, who stopped talking since the death of her infant brother some years before. She lives in a rural area of central Italy. Her mother is pregnant again and Martina lives for the arrival of her new brother. Meanwhile, the war is getting closer and closer, forcing the people of the village to tread a difficult path, torn between the partisan brigades and the Nazi Army. On practically the same day as the birth of Martina's brother, the SS start a massive roundup of civilians in the area, an infamous event that will come to be known as the Marzabotto massacre during which more than 770 people were killed in houses, cemeteries and churches. Written by
Palm Springs Internation Film Festival
Despite being beautifully shot and well-made (and a few well-done scenes such as the skirmish and execution of a captured German soldier) this one's pretty much a dud...deals with historical events with which most non-Italians are probably not familiar (German atrocities against Italian civilians during the latter half of WWII) but other than cinematically treating a new chapter in that era's history the film doesn't have much to offer, mainly because it uncritically relies on the default narrative/theme for movies on the general subject of WWII in Europe (Germans/Nazis=bad/evil (irrational obsessive homicidal nationalist maniacs), everyone else=good).
I guess the size and/or "taste" of the "American" market has to be mentioned as the primary reason many non-American directors find it difficult to make films with moral complexity beyond the imagination of a three-year old? (To give one potential example, (Italian) communist partisans would sometimes ambush German units while the latter were in regions known to be pro-fascist/Mussolini, in the hopes that the Germans were enact reprisals against the local civilians, whom the communists hated as much or more than the Nazis (people often hate those closer to them than those far away)--but would an Italian director dare make such a film? Apparently not.)
Edit: To be fair there were a couple of minor details in this direction, such as the SS man who was unable to fire the heavy machine gun and the officer who helped the woman who survived the mass shooting (although that was kind of bizarre itself). But larger themes, such as why was the German presence so bad that the villagers were willing to risk their families to try to get rid of it (all the Germans seemed to do was ask for wine and then pay for it) were lacking. Also the depiction of the Italian civilians was radically naive--were they all really just simple happy country folk who cared only for food, family and Catholicism? Such stereotypes are themselves infantilizing.
10 of 70 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?