Paolo and Vittorio Taviani direct this leisurely account of the 200-year old curse that has haunted the Benedetti family. Renato Carpentieri stars as Massimo Benedetti. The tale is told in flashbacks by Luigi (Lino Capilochio), the son of Renato, to his children, as they make the long drive to visit the old man. The story begins during the time of Napoleon when Jean (Michael Vartan) one of the emperor's soldiers guarding a gold shipment, is enchanted by the young Elizabette Benedetti (Galatea Ranzi), while her brother Corrado (Claudio Bigagli), without her knowledge, steals the gold. She's grief-stricken when the soldier is mistakenly executed for the crime, and although the fortune of the previously humble family is made, they will be cursed for generations. When the daughter of this union, Elisa (Galatea Renzi) falls in love with a young peasant years later, her manipulative brother, striving to extend the now wealthy family's domain into the political realm, attempts to break up their inconvenient relationship. The curse continues with the young Massimo (Michael Vartan), as he fights against the Facists during World War II. The Tavianis' deliberately paced history-as-fable, less a "sins of the father" drama, than fatalistic folklore, unfolds engagingly.
A Tuscan family becomes wealthy after one of the sons pilfers a cache of gold from his sister's lover. But the theft sets in motion a continuing cycle of violence and revenge between the two families and their descendants.
New York Times
"...A sweeping and sensuous fable....It offers many pleasures..." 10/13/1993 p.C21
Los Angeles Times
"...Paulo and Vittorio Taviani's FIORILE is as passionate, lyrical and ravishingly beautiful as any film they have ever made. It has moments of pure enchantment, of exquisitely expressed emotion..." 02/16/1994 p.F4