As in all his films, Olmi's interest is in ordinary people, and he observes them with equal sympathy and understanding.
In During the Summer, the central character is a professor (we are not told what he teaches) who, out of love for his fellow men &ndash: and to make a little cash on the side &ndash: confers mythical aristocratic titles on alf and sundry—mostly poor and rather ordinary people.
One day he befriends another free spirit, a girl who finds her love life less than satisfactory, and a brief affair develops between them. As an expression of his love for her, he makes her a Princess—free of charge.
I But their happiness comes to an abrupt end when he is arrested for defrauding old-aged pensioners of their pittances.
”In ‘During the Summertime', the city and its hinterland is opened like a magic box, just as the professor turns the girl into his princess. In shot after shot, Olmi transforms the common &ndash: place into a blaze of heraldic glory.” Jonathan Raban, New Statesmen
”...another small masterpiece, whispering major truths while others shout little ones. A marvellous film.” Ken Wlaschin, Films and Filming