In an atmosphere of political tension when the French still control Algiers, an Algerian is killed on the beach and a French man who has lived in Algiers all his life is arrested for the ... See full summary »
Sandra comes back to Volterra, in Tuscany, the little town where she spent her childhood. She is with her American husband, Andrew. She wishes to pay homage to her father who died in Auschwitz where she was still a little child. In Volterra, Andrew meets for the first time Gianni, Sandra's brother. He soon realizes that Sandra and Gianni have a secret since their childhood.Written by
Luchino Visconti often dealt with the disintegration of family in his films; The Damed, The Leopard, Conversation Piece.. The stories were tragedies and only in Bellissima (1951) the family sticked together in the end. Sandra (Vaghe stelle dell'Orsa...) is also a film about this, but specifically about an aristocratic family full of betrayal, decay and immorality.
Incest is a leading theme in Sandra; we are given clues about it throughout the film, but not a definite proof. The affair of the siblings remains in the shadows and there's something odd in the relationships between the children and the parents. Visconti first approaches this controversial theme calmly, showing it as a small thing - we are not told much about it. But then he increases it to enormous dimensions.
Luchino Visconti sets this story to a dying city around a aristocratic class that is dying out. Great tragedies, misfortunes and decay lead this class to extinction. Already in Senso Visconti achieved an aesthetic revolution, but he continues this in Sandra with a political and ethic revolution. Sandra is not the easiest film by Visconti and many people in the theater seemed to neglect it. In the beginning I found it a little unreachable and absurd but it grew up to be a beautiful allegorical description of the decay of an aristocratic family.
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