The Best of Youth (original title: La meglio gioventù), directed by Marco Tullio Giordana, was relased in 2003. This movie deals with the story of a family, particularly of two brothers – Matteo and Nicola. As we move through the phases of their life and their different choices, we also witness the developments of the Italian society. Indeed, the film covers 37 years of Italian history, from 1966 to 2003, focusing on the protests of 1968 and on the Red Brigades.
This six-hour-long movie is a must-watch for everyone interested in the Italian culture. It can be analysed on different levels: political, historical, and human. Its length should not scare you, as you will be enriched on multiple levels by watching this film, which is already regarded as a classic.
I will stimulate your curiosity even further by sharing three quotations and their translations in English. These quotations belong to what I call the “human” level of analysis of the film.
- “Perché, si fa tanta fatica a credere alle cose belle mentre a quelle brutte ci si crede subito?”
“Why is it so difficult to believe in good things while it is so easy to believe in bad things?”
- “Adesso sei felice? Allora è arrivato il momento di essere generosi!”
“Are you happy? Then, the time has come to be generous!”
- “Senti, ma lo sai che conservo ancora una cartolina che mi hai spedito da Capo Nord nel ’66 in norvegese, credo avesse una scritta. E sotto la traduzione diceva “tutto quello che esiste è bello” con tre punti esclamativi, ma tu ci credi ancora?”
“Ai punti esclamativi no, non ci credo più!”
“I still have one postcard that you sent me from North Cape in 1966. There was something written in Norwegian and I remember that the translation was ‘everything that exists is beautiful’ with three exclamation marks at the end. Do you still believe in it?”
“In the exclamation marks, no longer”.
I look forward to hearing your impressions of the movie and your favourite bits in the comments below.