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FRIENDS FOR LIFE

Italy, 1956 (MIFF 1958, Programme 2)

Director: Franco Rossi

Amici Per La Pelle is a film of great compassion. Franco Rossi has the advantage of using a story that never strikes for dramatic twists or the eccentric character. It is a story that springs from the neo-realist traditions of De Sica and Blasetti: but Rossi brings to it an intimacy that is a quality rarely caught by directors of today.

Franco, the son of an Italian diplomat re¬cently returned from London, is sent to school in Rome. There he meets Mario, who is the son of the artist-owner of a ceramic factory; their acquaintance soon becomes a firm friendship. Their idyll develops: there are momentary jealousies, minor squabbles. When Franco's father is posted to the Sudan, Mario arranges that his friend shall come to live with his family, and life appears to produce the perfect solution to one of its equations until Franco wins the school's cross-country race . . .

Amici Per La Pelle is a film with which all future films of adolescence are almost certain to be compared.

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