Two brothers come of age in the 1960s in a town south of Rome. Manrico is handsome, sometimes feckless, a leftist making the revolution. His younger brother Accio ("Bully") is a seminarian when the story beings, soon home studying Latin and joining the Fascists. Francesca, an aristocratic student, becomes Manrico's lover and Accio's friend. Over the next ten years, these three experience family, love, attraction, politics, and the challenges of adult responsibility. Subplots include Nastri, a father figure and political guide to Accio, Nastri's wife Bella who guides Accio in other ways, and the brothers' parents and sister, who are dazzled by Manrico's charm while depending on Accio.Written by
The political backdrop of this 60s character drama is both nostalgic and frightening - that disaffected and rebellious Accio finds himself so easily taken in by a Fascist mentor strikes parallels with the our own young men turning to extremism or street violence in a search of identity. Accio clashes dramatically with his older brother, the hip, good-looking communist, but the story not so much about political ideals as their expression of familial jealousies and personal moral development.
The tensions and affections of this struggling working class family, portrayed by all with genuine emotion. The dialogue is witty and charming and not unlike other memorable Italian films (Il Postino, Cinema Paradiso) the characters come across almost too resoundingly. This gives the film a well-crafted theatrical quality, that is engaging, well-paced and very satisfying.
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