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.
Thirteen year-old Marta has recently moved back to southern Italy with her mother and older sister and struggles to find her place, restlessly testing the boundaries of an unfamiliar city and the catechism of the Catholic church.
This is the tale of a meeting between Lazzaro, a young peasant so good that he is often mistaken for simple-minded, and Tancredi, a young nobleman cursed by his imagination. Life in their ... See full summary »
From a Calabrian river to a night in Catania where stray dogs roam the city aimlessly: between these two extremes "full of emptiness" is built Checosamanca , a collective work, born with ... See full summary »
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
Because the scenes with the bees were so delicate and required the presence of trained people when it came to handle them, all the scenes depicting the apiarist work where shot in one day with a special documentary crew. 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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Chanelling both Olmi and Fellini, Alice Rohrwacher's "The Wonders" represents Italian cinema at its best. Like Olmi's "Tree of Wooden Clogs" or more recently, Frammartino's "Le Quattro Volte" it's another classic picture of rural life with a touch of late Fellini thrown in, (in the form of the slightly surreal television competition that gives the film its name).
It's about a family of bee-keepers, struggling to make a living in Etruscany. The German father is something of a wastrel, the mother has mostly given up and it's left to the oldest daughter to hold things together. The writer and director Alice Rohrwacher, it was only her second feature film, neither romanticises or sentimentalises their situation and the film works both as a rural idyll and another wonderful addition to the cinema of childhood, (the adults seem to be figures in the background). Intelligent and very moving.
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