Another political hit from Italy

(Canscene) — Italians’ passion for politics is often reflected in their films. Remember last year’s Il Caimano which Nanni Moretti amusingly used as a piece of pre-election propaganda against Silvio Berlusconi?

Having had some experience of post-war Italy and the plethora of political parties that emerged after years of dictatorship, I was fascinated by My Brother is an Only Child.

The film has been directed by Daniele Lucchetti and involves two working-class brothers, Accio and Manrico.

It begins humorously with younger brother Accio trying to hack it at a seminary but eventually dropping out. His problem? God doesn’t punish him sufficiently for succumbing to the temptation of self abuse. Therefore, God doesn’t exist. Q.E.D.

The elder brother, Manrico (Riccardo Scarmaccio), is already committed to Communism. Accio (Elio Germano) joins the resurgent fascist party, MSI and though barely tolerant of each other’s ideals they remain friends.


But things begin to change. Accio leaves the fascists and embraces communism but becomes alarmed by Manrico’s growingly extremist views. Matters are further complicated because of Accio’s attraction to Manrico’s girlfriend.

My Brother is an Only Child is an accurate delineator of a period in Italian history with the Italian passion for politics dramatically underlining a story so natural in its development that it is totally believable.

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