Despite the English title, Garibaldi's Lovers is not a steamy, torrid film full of sex scenes and love stories. It is a single love story and comedy between a widowed plumber and a struggling artist (why are the artists always struggling? Haven't they seen enough films yet to tell them that perhaps art is not the most lucrative occupation?).
The story takes place in Genoa, Italy, where there is a square containing a statue of the great Italian hero, Giuseppe Garibaldi. We hear Garibaldi's thoughts on the poor state of modern society as he looks out over the activities of the citizens. He also argues with another statue, this one of the still living Gian Mario Cazzaniga. We hear from a few other statues briefly during the film, but the main narration comes from Garibaldi.
It is a single love story and comedy between a widowed plumber and a struggling artist.
While the film has the inanimate objects that have voices, it also has a living creature that doesn't in the form of a stork named Agostina who is subtly and surprisingly crucial to the story. It is no wonder than that the original Italian name of the film is Il Comandante e la Cicogna (The Commander and the Stork).
Elia and Agostina in a grassy area, meeting in secret
The primary characters are Leo, he plumber we mentioned and the artist, Diana. Leo is raising his 13 year old son, Elia, and his growing-up-too-soon daughter, Maddalena, alone, and is becoming overwhelmed by the responsibility of it. Although his wife, Teresa, is dead (we never learn how), she talks to him during the film, although it is unclear as to whether she is really a ghost that keeps appearing to smell the coffee (the one thing she truly misses about being alive) or is just in his imagination, and she wishes that Leo would find another woman to fill his life.
Diana is a modern artist of sculpture and painting, but her work doesn't seem to be well received, so she is in debt. When we first see her, she is trying to collect money owed to her for a piece of art, only to watch the buyer being arrested. Apparently, he owes a lot of people money, and she is directed towards an attorney firm who is handling the man's financials. When she pushes her way through that, the attorney informs her that the money will be tied up for several months. But there is hope; he loved the fresco she had done for the arrested man, and hires her to paint one in the office.
Leo and Diana, posing as husband and wife, to fool a realtor
Meanwhile, Elia has been getting into trouble, first for bringing a bag of fish heads to school, then for stealing frozen frogs from a grocery store. He is evicted from the store with another shoplifter, Amanzio Zosulich, who claims he was helping the store by "reclaiming" expired foods, which they shouldn't be selling. Amanzio is an eccentric who is studying several languages at once, loves to spout famous quotes at people, and won't hesitate to question the way other people are conducting their business (which gets him into trouble). He and Elia become friends, and Elia introduces him to Agostina, a wild stork who has befriended Elia and for whom he has been getting the fish and frogs for.
Connections get made, for Amanzio is Diana's landlord, to whom she owes money, and Leo, seeking legal help to aid his daughter after a sex video of her gets released to the internet by her slimy boyfriend, meets with the attorney for which Diana is doing the fresco. The attorney, Malafanno, talks Leo into participating in a property purchase transaction, which puts Diana and Leo into the role of husband and wife to convince the realtor.
Amanzio, in his apartment, listening to a cassette to practise languages
When Elia receives a strange phone call in German, he turns to Amanzio for help. Amanzio uses his language skills to discover that Agostina has been hurt and is Switzerland, so he and Elia take off to rescue her. Meanwhile, Leo finds out that Maddalena's newest boyfriend is not who he pretends to be, and that he was used in an illegal scheme. Before he can fully deal with that, however, he must race off to save Elia, who he believes has been kidnapped by a "maniac".
Surprisingly, the film has some special tidbits for language learners. As previously mentioned, Amanzio is learning languages. We see him sitting on his bed with a large radio hanging down from the ceiling, playing an audio tape. From the recording, we hear a man giving a phrase, then telling the language that it should be repeated in. Amanzio tries to repeat the proper phrase, but we can tell he isn't very good at it. He may not be as bad as he appears, however, for he and Elia manage to piece together enough Swiss German to learn the fate and location of Agostina.
Leo and the ghost of his wife, Teresa, talking about their kids
Leo also has a Chinese partner in his job named Fiorenzo who rattles off in Chinese at his wife who is sure that Fiorenzo is cheating on her. She even hires an investigator who places a listening device on their vehicle to catch him in the act.
Garibaldi's Lovers is a fun and enjoyable film and is directed by Silvio Soldini, who also did Bread and Tulips, which I reviewed here before. It is done in much the same manner, touching on the smaller quirks, interactions and coincidences of life that bring people together.
|At The Cinema - Il Comandante e la Cicogna - Garibaldi's Lovers|
|All images are copyright Lumière & Company, Ventura Film, RSI-Radiotelevisione Svizzera|
All images are Copyright - CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Share Alike) by their respective owners, except for Petey, which is Public Domain (PD) or unless otherwise noted.
|Letter From The Editor - Tracing Words|
|Constructed Languages - Making It All Up|
|Language Conflicts - Flemish vs. Walloon|
|Rohonc Codex - Hungarian Enigma|
|At the Cinema - Il Comandante e la Cicogna - Garibaldi's Lovers|
|Where Are You?|
|Words in Your Mouth - Sausage|
|GlobTech - Using Locale|
Find previous issues in the archives.
Letter From The Editor - No Politics • Make Your Own Language Group • A History of Research in Study Abroad • Parrot Time on Patreon • Languages in Peril - Sayonara, Ainu • At the Cinema - La Coppia dei Campioni • Where Are You? • Book Look - The Bible of the Language Learners and Polyglots • Basic Guide to Romanian • At A Glance
Letter From The Editor - Hope and Failing • Six Ways To Choose Which Languages To Learn • Learning Spanish - The trials, the tribulations and one triumphant learning hack • At the Cinema - The Last King (Birkebeinerne) • Celebrations - Birkebeinerrennet • Where Are You? • Book Look - Langenscheidt Dictionaries • Basic Guide to Swedish • At A Glance
Letter From The Editor - Culture and Language, Again • Learning A Language Is Learning Its Culture • Revisited - Early Bardic Literature in Ireland • Languages in Peril - Save Medan Hokkien! • In Others' Words - Ulrike and Peter Rettig • At the Cinema - Monster Hunt • Where Are You? • Book Look - Language Alter Ego • Basic Guide to Italian • At A Glance
Letter From The Editor - A Kind Word • Language and Power: The Hidden Struggle • 4 Ways To Learn Through Reading • Language Learning is for everyone! • Languages in Peril - The Decline of Sicilian • At the Cinema - The Host • Where Are You? • Book Look - Italian Short Stories for Beginners • Basic Guide to Hungarian • At A Glance
Letter From The Editor - Making it Happen • Motivation - Expressing oneself and the expression of oneself in language learning • Motivation Killers in Learning a Language • Mixing Languages and Relationships • In Others' Words - Brian Powers • At the Cinema - Cutting Room Floor • Languages in Peril - Cyprus' Language Revival Approach Problem • Where Are You? • At A Glance
Letter From The Editor - The Importance of Travel • Broadening The Mind Travels The World • The Secret Life of Diacritics • There Are No Wrong And Right Gestures, Only Cultural Differences • Google Translate Exposed: - The Truth Behind Everyone's Favorite Translator • At the Cinema - Queen • Book Look - The A to Z of Learning German • Where Are You? • Basic Guide to Papiamentu • At A Glance
Letter From The Editor - Free Things • The Cost of Free Language Resources • Review of Polyglot Workshops: Brazil • Easier Way to Learn Languages Fast • Dream, decide, do - tips from a polyglot • At the Cinema - Cambio de Ruta • Languages in Peril - Talysh • Where Are You? • App Rev - Tandem • Book Look - Language Master Key • At A Glance
Letter From The Editor - Studying in Summer • Polyglot Events All Around The World - You Are Not Alone • Playing Games with Language • Spanish E-training – The 'Big Bang' Investment • Can a Language Die? • At the Cinema - La Casa del Fin de los Tiempos • Languages in Peril - Scottish Gaelic • Words in Your Mouth - Apple • Celebrations - Nag Panchami • Where Are You? • Book Look - Fluency Made Achievable: The Fluent Guide to Core Language Skills • At A Glance
Letter From The Editor - Sounds Like • How Do You Say It? - A look at sound notation systems • Of Pidgins and Creoles - A look at how some languages are born • Who Are You To Learn A Language? • At the Cinema - Dil Chahta Hai • Languages in Peril - Yumans on the Edge • Words in Your Mouth - Egg • Where Are You? • Book Look
Letter From The Editor - Breaking with Tradition • Are You Wasting Your Money on Language Classes? • Chatting in Languages Online - Part 2: Voice Chats • Why English Is Different Than Any Other Language • The Digital Language Collective • At the Cinema - Viva La Libertà • Languages in Peril - The Tribes of the Tamil-Kannada • Words in Your Mouth - Rice • Where Are You? • Book Look
Letter From The Editor - Thirteen • Chatting in Languages Online - Part 1: Text Chats • Why Do People Learn Languages? • The Question Of Practice - An International Language Is Possible • At the Cinema - Chinese Puzzle • Celebrations - Fastelavn • Words in Your Mouth - Cheese • Where Are You? • Book Look
Letter From The Editor - Over Time • Which Language Is...? • The Ultimate Fate of Language Learning • 5 Funny Words In Afrikaans From My Perspective • At the Cinema - Everybody's Famous! • Word on the Streets - Why Writers are Important • Words in Your Mouth - Milk • Where Are You? • Book Look
Letter From The Editor - World Ambassadors • Coming Home to Faroese - The Why and How of Learning a Small Language • Danish and Faroese: A Biography • At the Cinema - Ludo • Basic Guide to Faroese • Celebrations - The Faroese Festival Summer • Revisted - The Faroe Islands • Word on the Streets - Famous Faroe Islanders • Where Are You? • The Grind: Why the Faroese Hunt Whales • The Legend of the Scottish Princess • Faroese Ballads - Nornagest Ríma and Ormurin Langi
Letter From The Editor - Expansion • Religion in Culture • Languages in Peril - Decline of the Gallo-Italics • Language Learning and Translation • Word on the Streets - Italian Greats • Book Look • At the Cinema - Xingu • Celebrations - Hangul Day • Where Are You? • Words in Your Mouth - Bread
Letter From The Editor - Tracing Words • Constructed Languages - Making It All Up • Language Conflicts - Flemish vs. Walloon • Rohonc Codex - Hungarian Enigma • At the Cinema - Il Comandante e la Cicogna - Garibaldi's Lovers • Where Are You? • Words in Your Mouth - Sausage • Book Look • GlobTech - Using Locale
Letter From The Editor - Globalization • Speaking with Aliens • Celebrations - Esala Perahera - The Festival of the Tooth • Language Conflicts - Bokmål vs. Nynorsk • At the Cinema - Pane e Tulipani - Bread and Tulips • Revisited - Words Which Have Changed Their Meaning • Languages in Peril - Keeping Up With The Kartvelians • Where Are You? • Sections - Reviews • Word on the Streets - Indonesian Innovators • GlobTech - Google Translate Section
Letter From The Editor - The Highlander Condition • When Languages Meet • At the Cinema - Mal Día Para Pescar - Bad Day to Go Fishing • Celebrations - Tanabata - The Star Festival • Languages in Peril - The Romanian Relatives • Revisited - Words Made By Great Writers • Where Are You? • Language Learning Methods - Immersion • Sections - Links
Letter From The Editor - Price of Fame • Liber Linteus - Mummified Language • Pencak Silat • At the Cinema - Bombay • Celebrations - Inti Raymi - Festival of the Sun • Cracking the Code • Languages in Peril - The Chibchan Family • Revisited - Words From The Names Of Animals • Word on the Streets - Great German Authors • Where Are You? • Language Learning Methods - Internet • Sections - Neighborhood
Letter From The Editor - Why Polynesian? • Rongorongo - Island Chants • Otto Dempwolff - Islands of Language • At the Cinema - Whale Rider • Celebrations - Pasifika Festival • Special Feature - Avoiuli • Languages in Peril - The Island Invasion • Revisited - Legends of Maui - Maui's Home • Word on the Streets - Malay Masters • Where Are You? • Revisited - Legends of Maui - Maui Snaring the Sun
Letter From The Editor - Linguist or Polyglot • The Phaistos Disc - Puzzle of Crete • Otto Jespersen - Progress of Language • At the Cinema - Kukushka - The Cuckoo • Celebrations - Carnival • Languages in Peril - The Salish Tragedy • Word on the Streets - Kannada Writers • Where Are You? • Revisited - Stories In The Names Of Places • New Souls • Language Learning Methods - Software • Sections - Parleremo YouTube
Letter From The Editor - Freaking Out • The Voynich Script - Cryptic Codex • Benjamin Whorf - Relativity of Language • At the Cinema - Lost in Translation • Languages in Peril - The Polish Connection • Word on the Streets - Romanian Poets • Where Are You? • Celebrations - Holi • A Language Dream • Revisited - Words From National Character • Language Learning Methods - Classes • Sections - Language Exchange
Letter From The Editor - Truth in Advertising • Linear A & Linear B - Lost Minoan • Edward Sapir - Patterns of Language • At the Cinema - Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner • Word on the Streets - Norwegian Notables • Where Are You? • Celebrations - Valentine's Day • Languages in Peril - The Rhaeto-Romance Trio • Revisited - Proverbs • Linguistics Love Song • Language Learning Methods - Books • Sections - Recordings
Letter From The Editor - A New Parrot Time • The Rosetta Stone - Triple Cypher • Ferdinand de Saussure - Signs of Language • At the Cinema - L'auberge Espagnole • Languages in Peril - The Finno-Ugrics • Word on the Streets - The Russian Zone • Where Are You? • Celebrations - Day of the Dead • Revisited - Slang • We Are The Linguists • Language Learning Methods - Audio • Sections - Journals
Subscribe to Parrot Time!