Saturday, May 30, 2015
Set amid the civil unrest leading up to Italy’s 1943 armistice, Violent Summer stars Jean-Louis Trintignant as Carlo, a feckless beach bum and son of a well-to-do Fascist. During an Allied air raid, he meets Roberta (Eleonora Rossi Drago), a mother and naval officer’s widow, who openly criticizes Carlo’s draft-dodging. Despite their (slight) age difference and the protestations from Roberta’s family, the two grow closer. After Carlo’s father flees without a word following Mussolini’s “resignation,” Carlo is forced to enlist to support the Fascist cause. The film’s shocking finale brings the couple’s devotion and the horror of war into sharp focus.