(La Notte di San Lorenzo)
Directed by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani. Italy. 1982.
The film focuses on the nature of a conflict in which life long friends from the same village are often engaged in the struggle on different sides. Especially vivid is a scene involving a battle in a wheat field between the villagers and home grown Fascists, and a heart wrenching confrontation between the partisans and a father with his 15-year old son. There are many other poignant moments as well: a young couple expecting a child, the village priest who is a collaborator, and an elderly couple rekindling a romance started when they were adolescents.
Night of the Shooting
Stars pays homage to the tradition of neo-realism, but also includes
surrealistic moments such as when the young girl sees the partisans as
Greek warriors, while the Fascist who threatens her life falls dead, pierced
by multiple spears. Though Night of the Shooting Stars suffers from
overacting, its unique approach allows us to see war as a very personal
experience with all of its sadness and cruelty. It was also gratifying
to see Americans being held in high esteem, an experience we haven't enjoyed
much of recently.
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