The Night of the Shooting Stars – in the Circle of Myths and Fairy Tales
The author examines The Night of St. Lawrence (Notte di San Lorenzo, dir. P. and V. Taviani, also known as The Night of the Shooting Stars), placing the film in the context of other Italian productions dealing both with the experience of war by Italians and the perspective of the child. Miller-Klejsa points to the religious and mythological themes present in the film and attempts to interpret the child’s perspective adopted in the film, arguing that this particular perspective causes the oneiric tone of the film. Filtering the events of the Second World War through the perspective of the child’s consciousness leads to a vision somewhat detached from the reality. Were the Tavianis suggesting that in 1980s Italy World War II was as distant as the ancient myths, and could only be understood through such a formula? Or maybe on the contrary – that the legendary character given to war events is to show the durability of this conflict in the collective memory and its significance for the Italian cultural heritage?
The Night of the Shooting Stars (Notte di San Lorenzo, 1982), an award-winning film (e.g. the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and five David di Donatello awards) by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, is an exceptionally personal work as they return in it to the war-time tragedy of their childhood which they experienced in their family town of San Miniato. In July 1944, Germans gathered the local population in the cathedral assuring them that...
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