My Brother is an Only Child


1h 48m 2007

Brief Synopsis

In a small Italian town in the 60's and 70's, two brothers want to change the world--but in completely different ways. The elder, Manrico, is a handsome, charismatic firebrand who becomes the prime mover in the local Communist party. Accio, the younger, more rebellious brother, finds his own contrar

Film Details

Also Known As
Mio Fratello E Figlio Unico, My Brother's an Only Child
MPAA Rating
Release Date
2007
Production Company
Abc Distribution; Babe Films; Cattleya Spa
Distribution Company
ThinkFilm; Agora Films (Switzerland); Alfa Films; Aztec International Entertainment; Camera Film; Cinemien; Filmladen Gmbh; Independenta; Les Films Séville; Nonstop Entertainment (Nse); Ozen Film; Playarte Pictures; Revolver; Revolver Entertainment; Revolver Entertainment; Rosebud Sa Motion Picture Enterprises; StudioCanal; Studiocanal Distribution; Swallow Wings; Thinkfilm; Thinkfilm; Transeuropa Films; Vertigo Films (Spain); Vivarto Films Distribution; Warner Bros. Italia; Warner Bros. Pictures International; Özen Film

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 48m

Synopsis

In a small Italian town in the 60's and 70's, two brothers want to change the world--but in completely different ways. The elder, Manrico, is a handsome, charismatic firebrand who becomes the prime mover in the local Communist party. Accio, the younger, more rebellious brother, finds his own contrarian voice by joining the reactionary Fascists. What starts as a typical tale of sibling rivalry becomes the story of the polarizing and paralyzing politics of those turbulent times and, the rift between the brothers is further intensified when Accio realizes that he loves his brother's girlfriend, Francesca who, like everyone else, is blind to Manrico's increasingly dangerous ideas.

Crew

Maria Rita Barbera

Costumes

Stefano Bartolomei

Assistant Director

Paola Bonelli

Script Supervisor

Alessandro Borgese

Stunt Coordinator

Salvatore Borgese

Stunt Coordinator

Francesco Calabrese

Assistant Director

Francesco Calabrese

Assistant Director

Francesca Campanella

Wardrobe

Ivan Casalgrandi

Camera Operator

Vincenzo Cataleta

Assistant Director

Alberta Ceccarelli

Wardrobe

Vladimiro Cecconi

Props

Dino Centonze

Location Manager

Marco Chimenz

Producer

Claudio Collepiccolo

Director Of Photography

Claudio Collepiccolo

Dp/Cinematographer

Fabio Conversi

Coproducer

Michele Corona

Assistant Director

Gianni Costantino

Casting Director

Gianni Costantino

Assistant Director

Mario Crenca

Location Manager

Francesco Cucinelli

Sound Mixer

Matteo De Laurentiis

Executive Producer

Marco Diotallevi

Assistant Director

Francesco Frigeri

Production Designer

Francesco Frigeri

Art Director

Gina Gardini

Line Producer

Mirco Garrone

Editor

Marco Gatti

Assistant Director

Gianni Gentili

Gaffer

Simona De Laurentiis

Post-Production Supervisor

Daniele Luchetti

Screenplay

Atos Mastrogirolamo

Set Decorator

Gianfranco Mecacci

Makeup

Gianluca Mizzi

Assistant Director

Francesca Montiroli

Makeup Artist

Rita Nardi

Wardrobe

Francesco Pegoretti

Hair Stylist

Antonio Pennacchi

Source Material

Emanuele Perotti

Assistant Director

Sandro Petraglia

Screenplay

Mauro Pezzotti

Key Grip

Franco Piersanti

Music

Bruno Pupparo

Sound Recordist

Paolo Ricci

Special Effects

Bruno Ridolfi

Executive Producer

Stefano Rulli

Screenplay

Sharrim Sabatin

Hair Stylist

Massimo Sai

Hair Stylist

Giovanni Stabilini

Producer

Riccardo Tozzi

Producer

Paolo Venditti

Production Manager

Film Details

Also Known As
Mio Fratello E Figlio Unico, My Brother's an Only Child
MPAA Rating
Release Date
2007
Production Company
Abc Distribution; Babe Films; Cattleya Spa
Distribution Company
ThinkFilm; Agora Films (Switzerland); Alfa Films; Aztec International Entertainment; Camera Film; Cinemien; Filmladen Gmbh; Independenta; Les Films Séville; Nonstop Entertainment (Nse); Ozen Film; Playarte Pictures; Revolver; Revolver Entertainment; Revolver Entertainment; Rosebud Sa Motion Picture Enterprises; StudioCanal; Studiocanal Distribution; Swallow Wings; Thinkfilm; Thinkfilm; Transeuropa Films; Vertigo Films (Spain); Vivarto Films Distribution; Warner Bros. Italia; Warner Bros. Pictures International; Özen Film

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 48m

Articles

My Brother is an Only Child - MY BROTHER IS AN ONLY CHILD - A New Italian Film Reflects Italy's Turbulent Past in the 1960s


Don't be confused by the soft-sell packaging -- the youthful Italian lovers in Danielle Luchetti's My Brother is an Only Child are involved in a serious drama set against the unstable politics of the 1960s. Luchetti simplifies Antonio Penacchi's novel Il Fasciocomunista into a story of sibling activists who adopt conflicting ideologies. The biggest surprise of Mio fratello è figlio unico is its refusal to endorse either brother's political stance. It instead indulges heavily in nostalgia for the turbulent past.

The tale begins in family comedy mode, introducing a confused, uncontrollable teenager who can't distinguish between Italy's destiny and his personal problems. Some critics thought Luchetti's film superficial and compared it unfavorably to La meglio gioventù (The Best of Youth), a more sweeping panorama of trends in modern Italy from the same screenwriters, Sandro Petraglia and Stefano Rulli. But My Brother is an Only Child fascinates as a coming-of-age story set in a nation with strong political divisions ... a situation holding a lot in common with today's United States.

Teenaged brothers Accio and Manrico Benassi (as adults, Elio Germano & Riccardo Scamarcio) live in Latina, a factory town founded by Mussolini's fascists. Seminary dropout Accio's foul mouth and troublemaking attitude are only made worse when he's introduced to the neo-fascist movimento by truck driver Mario Nastri (Luca Zingaretti). By contrast, older brother Manrico champions the labor cause and is soon involved in communist politics. Manrico also attracts the girls, including the beautiful and independent Francesca (Diane Fleri). Manrico and his French co-ed Francesca carry on their torrid romance barely a curtain away from Accio, who channels his hormonal envy into fascist activities. While getting to know Francesca, Accio boasts of his personal involvement in hooliganism targeting local communists. He can't understand why she isn't impressed.

My Brother is an Only Child is a political film that doesn't insult the intelligence of its audience. Mother (Angela Finocchiaro) judges Accio against the admired Manrico, who no sooner wins a factory job than he wants to organize his fellow laborers. But Accio is the more committed idealist; he judges himself too harshly to continue studying for the priesthood. Fascist principles appeal because they speak of a romantic national destiny. Accio deceives himself into the belief that taking the bus to Rome to throw eggs at a convention of Communist leaders is a noble activity. But he draws the line when his fascist leaders plan to target Manrico, just to "teach him a lesson".

Director and writer Daniele Luchetti sketches the wider political context but keeps the drama at the personal level. Accio allows himself to be seduced by Mario Nastri's neglected wife Bella (Anna Bonaiuto), a realist who treats her husband's fascist activities like a nuisance hobby. But Manrico is no angel either. He's notoriously unfaithful to Francesca while pursuing a career as an inspirational communist student leader.

Signor Luchetti has voiced an admiration for the filming style of director John Cassavetes but his own scenes are tightly scripted to give an impression of spontaneity. Meanwhile, he's also communicating the contradictions of both political poles. The fascist thugs claim to be the rightful inheritors of Roman glory, but they only seem interested in spreading hatred and provoking fights. A communist meeting is a mass of zealots, each shouting his opinion and listening to none. Speaking at a classical concert to honor the striking students, Manrico is surrounded by adoring female co-eds, for whom the revolution may only be sexual. What the strike accomplishes is unclear, but the crowd thrills when the lyrics to Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" are replaced by insipid Marxist sloganeering for Lenin and Chairman Mao.

The period after the strike of May '68 connects My Brother is an Only Child with the era of radical splinter groups, some of which terrorized Italy into the 70s with kidnappings and executions. Living as a fugitive, Manrico is trying to support Francesca and their new baby in secret. Still behind the curve of events, Accio attempts to contact his brother and inadvertently precipitates a disaster.

Actor Elio Germano's detailed portrait of a mixed up teen zealot earned him a Best Actor Donatello, while Angela Finocchiaro won for Best Supporting Actress as his long-suffering mother. Riccardo Scamarcio's populist charmer hits his character squarely on target with substantially less screen time. Diane Fleri is both tinder for the fires of youth and a reminder that families and radical activities can be a perilous mix. My Brother is an Only Child may seem superficial on some counts, and may send the questionable message that all political activism leads to radical extremes. But it succeeds strongly as dramatic entertainment.

ThinkFilm and Image's DVD of My Brother is an Only Child is a handsome enhanced color transfer with very clear audio. The Italian language track is subtitled in English. The presentation is preceded by three promos; the one extra is an effective trailer for the American release. For more information about My Brother is an Only Child, visit Image Entertainment.To order My Brother is an Only Child, go to TCM Shopping.

by Glenn Erickson
My Brother Is An Only Child - My Brother Is An Only Child - A New Italian Film Reflects Italy's Turbulent Past In The 1960S

My Brother is an Only Child - MY BROTHER IS AN ONLY CHILD - A New Italian Film Reflects Italy's Turbulent Past in the 1960s

Don't be confused by the soft-sell packaging -- the youthful Italian lovers in Danielle Luchetti's My Brother is an Only Child are involved in a serious drama set against the unstable politics of the 1960s. Luchetti simplifies Antonio Penacchi's novel Il Fasciocomunista into a story of sibling activists who adopt conflicting ideologies. The biggest surprise of Mio fratello è figlio unico is its refusal to endorse either brother's political stance. It instead indulges heavily in nostalgia for the turbulent past. The tale begins in family comedy mode, introducing a confused, uncontrollable teenager who can't distinguish between Italy's destiny and his personal problems. Some critics thought Luchetti's film superficial and compared it unfavorably to La meglio gioventù (The Best of Youth), a more sweeping panorama of trends in modern Italy from the same screenwriters, Sandro Petraglia and Stefano Rulli. But My Brother is an Only Child fascinates as a coming-of-age story set in a nation with strong political divisions ... a situation holding a lot in common with today's United States. Teenaged brothers Accio and Manrico Benassi (as adults, Elio Germano & Riccardo Scamarcio) live in Latina, a factory town founded by Mussolini's fascists. Seminary dropout Accio's foul mouth and troublemaking attitude are only made worse when he's introduced to the neo-fascist movimento by truck driver Mario Nastri (Luca Zingaretti). By contrast, older brother Manrico champions the labor cause and is soon involved in communist politics. Manrico also attracts the girls, including the beautiful and independent Francesca (Diane Fleri). Manrico and his French co-ed Francesca carry on their torrid romance barely a curtain away from Accio, who channels his hormonal envy into fascist activities. While getting to know Francesca, Accio boasts of his personal involvement in hooliganism targeting local communists. He can't understand why she isn't impressed. My Brother is an Only Child is a political film that doesn't insult the intelligence of its audience. Mother (Angela Finocchiaro) judges Accio against the admired Manrico, who no sooner wins a factory job than he wants to organize his fellow laborers. But Accio is the more committed idealist; he judges himself too harshly to continue studying for the priesthood. Fascist principles appeal because they speak of a romantic national destiny. Accio deceives himself into the belief that taking the bus to Rome to throw eggs at a convention of Communist leaders is a noble activity. But he draws the line when his fascist leaders plan to target Manrico, just to "teach him a lesson". Director and writer Daniele Luchetti sketches the wider political context but keeps the drama at the personal level. Accio allows himself to be seduced by Mario Nastri's neglected wife Bella (Anna Bonaiuto), a realist who treats her husband's fascist activities like a nuisance hobby. But Manrico is no angel either. He's notoriously unfaithful to Francesca while pursuing a career as an inspirational communist student leader. Signor Luchetti has voiced an admiration for the filming style of director John Cassavetes but his own scenes are tightly scripted to give an impression of spontaneity. Meanwhile, he's also communicating the contradictions of both political poles. The fascist thugs claim to be the rightful inheritors of Roman glory, but they only seem interested in spreading hatred and provoking fights. A communist meeting is a mass of zealots, each shouting his opinion and listening to none. Speaking at a classical concert to honor the striking students, Manrico is surrounded by adoring female co-eds, for whom the revolution may only be sexual. What the strike accomplishes is unclear, but the crowd thrills when the lyrics to Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" are replaced by insipid Marxist sloganeering for Lenin and Chairman Mao. The period after the strike of May '68 connects My Brother is an Only Child with the era of radical splinter groups, some of which terrorized Italy into the 70s with kidnappings and executions. Living as a fugitive, Manrico is trying to support Francesca and their new baby in secret. Still behind the curve of events, Accio attempts to contact his brother and inadvertently precipitates a disaster. Actor Elio Germano's detailed portrait of a mixed up teen zealot earned him a Best Actor Donatello, while Angela Finocchiaro won for Best Supporting Actress as his long-suffering mother. Riccardo Scamarcio's populist charmer hits his character squarely on target with substantially less screen time. Diane Fleri is both tinder for the fires of youth and a reminder that families and radical activities can be a perilous mix. My Brother is an Only Child may seem superficial on some counts, and may send the questionable message that all political activism leads to radical extremes. But it succeeds strongly as dramatic entertainment. ThinkFilm and Image's DVD of My Brother is an Only Child is a handsome enhanced color transfer with very clear audio. The Italian language track is subtitled in English. The presentation is preceded by three promos; the one extra is an effective trailer for the American release. For more information about My Brother is an Only Child, visit Image Entertainment.To order My Brother is an Only Child, go to TCM Shopping. by Glenn Erickson

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 2007 (Shown at London Film Festival (Film on the Square) October 17-November 1, 2007.)

Released in United States 2008 (Shown at Rotterdam International Film Festival (Time & Tide) January 23-February 3, 2008.)

Released in United States January 2008 (Shown at Palm Springs International Film Festival (Gala Screenings) January 3-14, 2008.)

Released in United States Spring March 28, 2008 (NY)

Released in United States April 4, 2008 (Los Angeles)

Released in United States August 2007 (Shown at Locarno International Film Festival (Piazza Grande) August 1-11, 2007.)

Released in United States 2007

Released in United States 2008

Released in United States April 4, 2008

Released in United States August 2007

Released in United States January 2008

Released in United States October 2007

Released in United States on Video August 5, 2008

Released in United States Spring March 28, 2008

Shown at Locarno International Film Festival (Piazza Grande) August 1-11, 2007.

Shown at London Film Festival (Film on the Square) October 17-November 1, 2007.

Shown at Palm Springs International Film Festival (Gala Screenings) January 3-14, 2008.

Shown at Pusan International Film Festival (World Cinema) October 4-12, 2007.

Shown at Rotterdam International Film Festival (Time & Tide) January 23-February 3, 2008.

Based on the novel "Il Fasciocomunista" by Antonio Pennacchi; published by Mondadori January, 2003.

Released in United States on Video August 5, 2008

Released in United States October 2007 (Shown at Pusan International Film Festival (World Cinema) October 4-12, 2007.)