The fervent affair of the Italian Gemma and the American photographer Diego will be put to the test by the insurmountable problem of infertility, as the couple's desperate desire to conceive will prompt them to make difficult choices. Now, sixteen years after the 1992 siege of Sarajevo, Gemma--after accepting her old friend Gojko's invitation--will return to the once war-torn city accompanied by her 16-year-old son, Pietro, only to unearth powerful memories and bottled-up emotions. But, there, decades after her perilous escape, Gemma is also in for a terrible and tragic revelation--one that will uncover the true horrors of war and the full extent of her loss.Written by
Emile Hirsch (Diego) is the only American in the cast. See more »
[on the other end]
May I speak with Gemma?
This is Gemma.
Gemma? Gemma, is that really you?
Yes, Gemma. It's me
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I hadn't read the novel by Margaret Mazzantini, but was enough prepared for the toughness of the story, however, I was deeply shocked by the harshness of the drama. The movie is certainly well built, being the director the novelist's husband, he could probably render best the real substance of the story and the characters. Moving forward and backwards in time is not something new, but always a gripping technique, letting the viewer catch the progress of the story little by little. Indeed, there's no haste in a sometimes too slow movie, the second part far better than the first, with a very good historical reconstruction of a debased Sarajevo under siege, because of a war we Europeans have forgotten too quickly. I liked the performances offered by Penelope Cruz, very intense but well balanced, Emile Hirsch is really great and there's a good empathy between the two. There's also an international variety of incisive, unconventional musical choices, from Nirvana to Bruce Springsteen. Sometimes overenthusiastic, they undoubtedly prove very forceful and the scene of bombing on the notes of "Something in the way" leaves the mark. On the whole, a very dramatic movie, where the horror of war and of the human species certainly prevails, but with a sense of hope which I found soothing and in a way necessary.
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