Il grande cocomero (The Great Pumpkin) (1993)

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The innovative Italian neuropsychiatrist Marco Lombardo Radice started at treatment movement which draws its name from the unlikely object of worship found in the Peanuts cartoon series, The Great Pumpkin, and it seems likely that this movie and its story represent some kind of homage to his memory. Arturo's wife walked out on him, and now he devotes all his time to his job. He (Sergio Castillitto) is a professor of psychiatry at the university hospital in Rome, and specializes in children's problems. When Pippi (Alessia Fugardi) is brought in for a consultation, it is alleged that she is an epileptic, but the good doctor thinks otherwise. He convinces her reluctant parents to leave her in his care, and through a series of brilliant manipulations, he manages to cure her. The world of mental illness and how it is handled in Italy are not seen through rose-colored glasses, here, and reviewers found tht what could have been a mere tear-jerker manages to be a convincing, gripping drama. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi

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