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My Brother Is an Only Child (2008)

Elio Germano , Riccardo Scamarcio  |  R |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Elio Germano, Riccardo Scamarcio, Angela Finocchiaro, Luca Zingaretti
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Velocity / Thinkfilm
  • DVD Release Date: August 5, 2008
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0019X3YT6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #132,528 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "My Brother Is an Only Child" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Through the 1960s and 1970s, a pair of brothers (Elio Germano and Riccardo Scamarcio) battle over love and ideas in this Italian drama. MY BROTHER IS AN ONLY CHILD (MIO FRATELLO ? FIGLIO UNICO) also stars Angela Finocchiaro and Luca Zingaretti.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finding Self: A Beautiful Coming of Age Story August 6, 2008
Format:DVD
MY BROTHER IS AN ONLY CHILD ('Mio fratello è figlio unico') is a title that may confuse the casual movie viewer, but it is an apt summation of the rigorous story that this excellent Italian film by Danielle Luchetti (adapted from a novel by Antonio Pennacchi) represents - the coming of age of two brothers in the confusing and turbulent 1960's and 1970's in Italy. While the film deals with the myriad political factions that disrupted life especially among the students of that era, the main focus of the story is the indomitable brotherly love that bonds the two main characters.

Accio Benano (Vittorrio Emanuele Popizo) as a child is a mischief maker who has entered seminary to become a priest, but his innate search for truth and meaning soon finds him returning home to his little family in a Mussolini-fabricated town called Latina, a village built on promises of communal well-being (a housing project was built but the poor villagers are refused access to it), but languishes in the poverty of lost hopes and deflated spirits. Accio's father, mother, younger sister and older brother Manrico (Riccardo Scamarcio) are making ends meet, but are frustrated with the political oppression of the working class. Time passes and the older Accio (Elio Germano) comes under the influence of Mussolini's 'idealism' with the tutelage of his older friend Mario (Luca Zingaretti) and embraces Fascism while Manrico has aligned with the communists, and it is this dichotomy of belief that sets Accio apart from his brother as well as his family who are communist sympathizers. Accio's personality places him in harms way with the law, with women (he has longings for the women in both Mario's and Manrico's lives), and ultimately with turns of events that threaten to pit brother against brother.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMERICANS DON'T MAKE MOVIES LIKE THIS March 22, 2009
By AKA
Format:DVD
Viewers would probably benefit by having a sense of Italy's history-- and the history of Italian cinema--to get a good grasp on the film. Otherwise, it may seem uneven and spotty. If you haven't already, I recommend watching Best of Youth, Fist in the Pocket, Bicycle Thief, Rocco and His Brothers, I'm Not Afraid and even Lina Wertmeuller's Swept Away to put this film in context.

Italian cinema has a tradition of basing their films on literature, classical drama, and political and intellectual concerns. As a cultural group, they are first to speak up about injustices of the status quo. Such is the case with Mio Fratello e'Unico Figlio ( My Brother is an Only Child).

It is a story of a family living on the outskirts of Rome. In the 60s and 70s things were pretty rural in the town of Latino; excitement resided elsewhere--Rome, for example. Within the family, there is the Communist brother Manrico; a fascist younger brother Accio; and a Christian Democrat father. The mother is work-worn and weary of living in government housing with walls that crack right before her eyes. The sister, a delicate thing, is the only member of the household who has privilege. She attends the classical high school and plays the cello in an orchestra. The family is a microcosm of Italy, with its disagreeing, often violently factious, parties crowded together in a small house.

Crowded they are. The film bombards viewer's senses with the bonds of intimacy and conflict within the family. Manrico and Accio fighting,for example. We hear their bones knocking against each other, the thud of a foot in the stomach. We see the anguish of the family as they walk down the road to the school house to confront the daughter's professor, who supposedly is taking advantage of the girl.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great contemporary italian cinema April 9, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a great movie, deep and surprising at the same time. In a way, it can be described as an utterly original coming of age movie, taking place in the complicated and often contradictory social-political context of Italy in the '60-'70s.
This movie is an excellent example of great contemporary italian cinema, check it out.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Romulus and Remus of a political cocktail October 11, 2011
Format:DVD
Luchetti's clever,funny movie mixes domestic and political confrontation in Italy's troubled 1960s and 70s, depicting the Romulus and Remus of politics of two brothers,in Latina,one of Mussilini's model towns.Handsome Manrico(Ricardo Scarmacio) pursuing communist beliefs,following his father into working in a factory,agitating against the oppression of the working class,later on the run.While youger,Accio(Elio Germano),going from a seminary,losing his beliefs,questioning his parents ,fighting his brother,finding himself the black sheep of the family,playing second fiddle to his brother,with whom he has a love-hate relationship,attracted to his brother's girlfriend,Franscesca,without acting upon it.Instead he gets into his school studies,then fascism through his mentor,a steet trader,with whose wife he has an affair.He turns against fascism when they set light to his brother's car.The parents are shewn being ripped off by the authorities who having promised them a new council house ,fail to deliver,making Germano act.Germano brings charisma and brilliant acting to his role,Scarmacio brings his own brooding good looks to his role.Two of the best young actors in Italy.
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