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The Night of the Shooting Stars (Sous-titres français) [Import]
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With its subtle mixture of wartime hardship, comedic interludes, and a hallucinatory hint of Italian magic realism, The Night of the Shooting Stars was named the best film of 1982 by the prestigious National Society of Film Critics. Drawing inspiration from their own experiences in Nazi-occupied Italy, the codirecting Taviani brothers (Paolo and Vittorio) remade this feature from their 1954 debut short "San Miniato, July 1944," framing its touching yet occasionally vague tale of wartime survival as a bedtime story, told by a loving mother from her memories as a 6-year-old, fleeing her Tuscan village in the closing days of World War II. American liberation is promised within days, but the Nazis have rigged village houses with mines, so the residents of san Martino flee to the countryside, where encounters with fascists are common and deadly. The film's dreamy nostalgia isn't as satisfying as, say, Cinema Paradiso, but it's still a lovely film, filled with quintessentially Italian vitality while proving, as one character observes, that "even true stories can end well." --Jeff Shannon
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Top Customer Reviews
The movie is narrated by a woman who was a six year-old in the little band of townsfolk who escaped the village. The story is episodic and choppy, juxtaposing scenes that aren't always understandable. We never get to know any of the townsfolk as individuals; instead, we are overwhelmed with the general misery of war - the deprivation, constant fear, the cruelty, and even some surreal visions.
I guess I missed the actual night of shooting stars and it was annoying to miss the significance of the title. Also, I was often confused as to who was who, but overall, it is quite an effective wartime horror story. In Italian with subtitles.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
"The night of the shooting stars" is not about faked "dreamy nostalgia"; it is the story, beautifully told through the eyes of a young girl, of a Tuscan village in the II world war, during the German occupation (should I say "alliance"...) and the civil war (fascists-partisans), and tells a terrible choice that an entire village had to make.
There are moments in this movie that I will never forget:
- the man who, after spending the night pondering on the choice offered by the Germans (endorsed by the local priest), stands up and says: "sentite, Io dei tedeschi non mi fido..." ("look, I don't trust the Germans..."), and purely on that instinct will act, saving half of the village.
- the eyes and the face of the priest (as a reviewer says below), who realizes what he has done, too late.
- the fantastic battle in the wheat field, seen through the eyes of the girl as one in the Ilyad. And, as a reviewer says below, the people who recognize each other during the fight. Half-dream, half-reality, an incredible moment of cinema.
- the anxious wait for the arrival of the Americans, who seem always around the corner (the cruel joke from somebody, the phonograph, on that wall...).
There are fake dreams, and authentic, sincere ones; "La notte di San Lorenzo" (the beautiful Italian title) offers one whose nature you will not doubt.
They focus on the deep impact on the psiquis and the simple behavior of a simple group of brave people for surviving.
The horror you'll breathe for instance, at the church undergrounds, the wedding and the best glorious achievement in the middle of field are simply outstanding. One little girl with his voice in off will make her own journey and will employ her particular justice code against the enemy told in such level of poetic and expressive intensity that when you leave the cinema hall remain mesmerized.
Acquire as soon as possible this extraordinary film.
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