The Best of Youth | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

The Best of Youth 

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This epic Italian drama was shot as a TV miniseries, then rejected by the state network. Released to theaters as a two-part feature with a running time of just over six hours, it beautifully realizes the travails of a middle-class family from 1966 through the millennium, as radical politics wax and wane in Italy. A young volunteer at a mental clinic (Alessio Boni) persuades his brother (Luigi Lo Cascio) to help him deliver a soulful electroshock victim (Jasmine Trinca) to her family in the country, but the adventure ends badly and marks both men for life. The first brother winds up a troubled cop, the second marries a woman who's secretly a Red Brigade terrorist. But the story unfolds at such length and over so many years that politics tend to fade into the wallpaper, leaving an exceptionally rich family story. Marco Tullio Giordana directed a script by Sandro Petraglia and Stefano Rulli. In Italian with subtitles. R. Music Box.

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