A Time to Love | Chicago Reader

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Giacomo Campiotti's 1999 Italian film is presented in three episodes, each a story in which an estranged couple arrive at some kind of understanding: in the first, set in South Africa during the Boer War, they're divided by class; in the second, set in Paris during the Nazi occupation, they're divided by nationality and language; and in the third, set in contemporary Turin, the boy is in a coma. Campiotti says they're not discrete episodes but “one story, a story about love between Man and Woman,” which is presumably why he fuses the narratives so that a character from one episode transforms into a character from the next. The film is diverting and uses period detail reasonably well, but it tends to efface the very real cultural differences between the settings, which threatens to reduce the narrative to a sappy tale of love conquering all.

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