A family of beekeepers living in the Tuscan countryside finds their household disrupted by the simultaneous arrival of a silently troubled teenage boy and a reality TV show intent on showcasing the family.
Fourteen-year-old Maria is a fundamentalist Catholic, living her life in a modern fashion, yet her heart belongs to Jesus. She wants to be a saint and go to heaven. No one, not even a nice boy she meets, can stop her in this goal.
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Gelsomina's family functions according to very particular rules. First of all, Gelsomina, at twelve years of age, practically runs the family. Her three younger sisters obey her and work under her watchful eye. But the outside world mustn't know anything about their lifestyle, and they should be kept away from it, well-protected in their isolated countryside home. Gelsomina's father, Wolfgang, is a foreigner and Gelsomina is the future queen of this strange and improbable kingdom he has constructed for them. A male heir would have been better, of course, but Gelsomina is strong and determined and what's more, she has a special talent for beekeeping and making honey. It's Gelsomina that retrieves the swarms from the trees, who organizes the honey extraction, and she is the one that carries the hives. Whilst all around them the countryside is being burnt up by pesticides, rural life is falling apart and becoming something different, a TV show competition arrives from the city offering a... Written by
Swiss censorship certificate # 1010.229. See more »
I was thinking... If we work well and plenty, if you work plenty, we'll buy you a present.
I don't know. We can buy... a camel?
What did he say? A camel?
Yes... you used to like it.
Yes, when I was a child... And it's against the law.
The law? Who's gonna ever find it here?
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For a film about a simple Italian beekeeping family there is a wealth of depth and imagination. I personally wasn't a fan of the visuals, editing, and cinematography; but the screenplay was phenomenal, the acting was superb, and the story struck at the heart of family life amidst difficulty.
I don't know much about Italian lore and history, but I would guess this film is some kind of modern take on an ancient Etruscan fairy tale. A struggling rural family with scores of problems is almost entirely dependent on the oldest daughter to provide. In order to help her family, she calls on the help of a fairy. In this case, the fairy is the host of a prize show. All in all, it's a brilliant revision of folklore. It goes to show that moral messages of ancient stories apply just as much to us today as they did to ancient civilizations 2700 years ago.
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