Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Best of Youth

The Best of Youth is an ambitious 6 hour Italian film from 2003. It takes place throughout Italy from the mid-60s to the early 21st century and focuses on two brothers whose lives take divergent paths. From a middle class family, both are groomed to be doctors and are studying for their medical finals when the film opens up. Nicola explores other options for awhile, but eventually does become a psychiatric doctor. Hot-headed Matteo drops out of medical school and decides to become a police officer. As we follow both of their lives we meet their families and lovers. We also experience their successes and tragedies. Both see Italy changing and both, in their own way, try to fight injustices they find. All is set against a beautiful background of Italian landmarks and countrysides as well as recent historical Italian events. Though The Best of Youth is a time commitment, it never seems long and is definitely worth the effort.
***1/2 stars