Thirty-something sailor Martin Eden (remarkable newcomer Luca Marinelli) is inspired to remake himself as a novelist, following a chance encounter with the sophisticated, wealthy Elena (the luminous Jessica Cressy). She immediately becomes not only the object of his passionate affections, but also the symbol of the status Martin aspires to achieve. A passionate and enthralling cinematic achievement in the tradition of Rossellini and Visconti, Pietro Marcello’s enveloping and superbly-mounted fable interweaves historical footage with an extraordinary production design of his own. The film’s ideas are universal and timeless: the hypocrisy of class, the disillusionment of ideologies, the limits of romanticism and realism, and the question of what it means, ultimately, to be an individual.
Jessica Cressy, Vincenzo Nemolato, Luca Marinelli