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MEN AND NON-MEN

Italy, 1980 (MIFF 1981)

Director: Valentino Orsini

Valentino Orsini is one of the virtually unknown filmmakers of Italy whose work has rarely travelled outside his country. In fact Italian production is full of films that deserve screenings beyond their borders, but which are never seen, even at festivals.

Based on a novel by Elio Vittorini, this is a low-key film, telling a story from the Resistance Set in Milan in 1 944, at a time when the Italian Secret Police are engaging in reprisals against Resistance fighters, it concerns a Resistance leader, N2, in hiding, who meets a woman he loved but with whom he lost contact.

Played as a chamber piece, its subject is downbeat and sombre. It is, however, expertly filmed with a surprisingly sustained intensity that lasts until the shock ending.

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