La Notte di San Lorenzo (Night of the Shooting Stars) (The Night of San Lorenzo)

1982

La Notte di San Lorenzo (Night of the Shooting Stars) (The Night of San Lorenzo) (1982)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

In Tuscan lore, the evening of August 10th is la notte di san lorenzo (the night of the shooting stars). Each of these stars is believed to grant one wish. In this celebrated film by Italy's Taviani brothers, a woman asks for the words to tell her son about that same night during the last days of World War II. The Nazis occupied Italy and the fascists had mined her small Tuscan village of San Martino. Skeptical of the fascists' promise that all peasants will be safe in San Martino's cathedral, a group of villagers opt to leave and search for the Italian partisans and advancing American forces. Among those to depart is the woman, then only six years old. La Notte di San Lorenzo is the story of the villagers' remarkable exodus, the fate of those left behind, and the partisan struggle against fascism -- lyrically intertwined with their thoughts, loves, fears, and memories, as well as the fantasies of a young girl experiencing the tragedy she perceives to be her greatest adventure.

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Critic Reviews for La Notte di San Lorenzo (Night of the Shooting Stars) (The Night of San Lorenzo)

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (2)

Although it spins in circles for too long before its climactic wheat-field shoot out, no other Taviani brothers film so vividly captures the prevailing ethos of their life's work: "Living may be tragic," Vittorio once said, "but life isn't."

Aug 13, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

Lyricism, poetry, brutality, reality, fantasy; mixed and slowly stirred, make for a special mood

Jan 23, 2009 | Full Review…

One of the greatest films of the 1980s.

Apr 17, 2008 | Rating: 5/5

...not enough to sustain our interest through a 105-minute movie, despite the obvious earnestness with which the brothers have imbued the story.

Mar 12, 2004 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

A parabolic Italian film about freedom, death, and grace set during World War II in the Tuscany region of Italy.

Jan 17, 2002 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for La Notte di San Lorenzo (Night of the Shooting Stars) (The Night of San Lorenzo)

A group of Italian villagers struggle to survive the final days of WWII, battling Nazi sympathizers and anxiously awaiting the arrival of the American soldiers who will liberate them. La Notte di San Lorenzo is a good film that may have been great had it be given a larger budget. For example, the highly anticipated American army is represented by a whopping TWO soldiers (neither of which ever utter a word), war planes are heard but never seen, an explosion in the church is represented by loud sound effects and a little smoke coming out of the door, etc., etc., etc... Still, you have to credit the Taviani brothers for making the most of what they had and giving us a film that seems to live well beyond it's means.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

this movie has action, tragedy, war, humor, love, lust, history, fairy tales, heroes, blissful children, time-chastened old folks, prayers & desperate wishes, class conflict, (meaningful) politics, cold-blooded murder, tarnished violence for freedom, and the heritage of every kind of Italian movie

Adam Mahler
Adam Mahler

Super Reviewer

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