After saving Arturo, a young scion of the industrial middle class, from a beating, the sailor Martin Eden is invited to the boy's family home. Here he meets Elena, Arturo's beautiful sister, and falls in love with her at first sight. The cultured and refined young woman becomes not only the object of Martin's affections but also a symbol of the social status he aspires to achieve. At the cost of enormous efforts and overcoming the obstacles represented by his humble origin, Martin pursues the dream of becoming a writer. Under the influence of the elderly intellectual Russ Brissenden, he gets involved in socialist circles, bringing him into conflict with Elena and her bourgeois world.Written by
Adapted from the 1909 Jack London novel, and stylized so that it resembles one of the transgenerational epics of the Taviani brothers (My Father My Master comes to mind), the chronologically vague Martin Eden is an intriguing movie that serves as a good ambassador for the main idea behind the book (the self-made protagonist strives to promote individualism against socialism and liberalism, only to turn into another cog in the machine by the time he becomes a successful writer).
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