, 102min, iOmeU
Outside Milan, 1943. Built on rhythmical patterns reflecting life on both sides of the social spectrum, Francesco Maselli’s feature debut recognizes a historical fact that arouses a feeling of deeply rooted historical grievance to this day: the degree of Italian collaboration with the Germans during the Second World War. This applies especially to the affluent upper classes who, as history has repeatedly proven, are wont to choose whoever strikes them as the most powerful side. GLI SBANDATI opens with Renoirian images that could not be further removed from war: long, lazy mornings spent in bed, sunny days on the riverbank accompanied by jazz music, and merry bicycle rides in the countryside. This bucolic imagery is soon tainted by the arrival of destitute evacuees from neighboring areas. The refugees ask the carefree residents of a countryside villa for refuge, bringing dissent and suffering to the realm of careless hedonism. While the gentry panics when confronted with the imminent defeat of fascism and the choice between embracing the Nazis and helping the partisans, the youth of Italy divides itself into three groups: the idealist, the fascist, and the cowardly undecided. This gulf will mark generations to come and Francesco Maselli recognized this all too well. Nevertheless, unlike most of his compatriots, he chose to hit where it hurts most.