The linkage in this movie between politics and family dynamics is a point well taken, but the movie -- whose sense of frenetic activity going nowhere is captured by Luchetti's buoyant camera -- does go on and on before anyone learns anything.
Director Daniele Luchetti's strategy is to personify the long-standing divisions of his homeland in a pair of siblings, but make the characters so vital that we don't feel we're being browbeaten with political allegory.
If some of this sounds like stereotypical Italian behavior, and if in fact My Brother Is an Only Child has a weakness for abrupt and melodramatic plot devices, it has other virtues that make it truly satisfying.
My Brother Is an Only Child is a politically charged family drama set in Italy in the 1960s and 1970s -- think The Best of Youth (director Daniele Luchetti collaborated with that epic film's writers) at a more butt-friendly running time.
What makes My Brother Is an Only Child so alive and entertaining is how it dramatizes the endless tug-of-war between political conviction and personal experience -- the way the lines twist and blur and finally implode.