The Night of San Lorenzo

Director: Paolo and Vittorio Taviani

Italy| 1981. English subtitles. Colour. 106 min.

A distinctive and restless force in Italian cinema for more than 35 years, the brothers Paolo and Vittorio Taviani mastered an
eloquent stylistic bridge between Rossellini’s stringency and Fellini’s braggadocio. 1977’s Padre, Padrone was the film that
put the Tavianis on the map, but Night of the San Lorenso remains their premier achievement. Fantastic and episodic, this
saga of Italian villagers roaming the Nazi-occupied countryside searching for the liberating armies combines doom and magic
and absurdism with spectacular confidence. Many of the Tavianis’ films evoke the simplistic voice of folklore, but this
mid-career masterpiece (told in flashback by its six-year-old protagonist, now grown into parenthood) is a traumatic oral
history seen form the inside out.

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