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The Night of the Shooting Stars (Sous-titres français) [Import]
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)
I loved the relationships portrayed between protagonists in this movie: young mother trying to protect her daughter (a narrator of this story), old couple who missed out on being married 40 years ago due to social norms of the time, virgin empowered with knowing that men of all ages desire her; young man trying to protect his pregnanat bride due to deliver their first child in any moment. All characters are real in their all too human fears, desires and fight for survival.
Story is told by a woman who experienced all this as a 6 year old child, now a mother herself. She tells this story to her young son during the night of the shooting starts in the sky - and the story is no fairy tale or a lullaby. Wonderful movie with beauty of Tuscany that not even war could destroy and determination of the ordinary peasants to preserve their life, families and dignity.
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