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Italy, 1986 (MIFF 1987)

Director: Massimo Mazzucco

Romance more than confirms the great promise of Massimo Mazzucco's first film, Summertime, and firmly establishes Mazzucco as the most significant new hope of Italian cinema after the generation of Moretti, Troisi, and Benigni. Romance revolves around a father and son relationship. The two have not seen each other for 20 years, and hold radically different views about moral issues and the importance of family ties. They struggle and fight for three days, finally getting to know each other, although it is perhaps too late. Brilliant performances by the veteran Walter Chiari and Luca Barbareschi (protagonist of Summertime) ensure a lasting value to a moving film that manages to raise more than an occasional smile on the way. It was by some way the best Italian film in competition at Venice, and many thought Chiari should have been awarded the best actor prize.

Don Ranvaud, London Film Festival Programme

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