Archive of films Wondrous Boccaccio / Maraviglioso Boccaccio

Italy / France
2015, 121 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2015

Medieval Florence is beset by the Black Death. A group of nobles decide to escape to the countryside. In a villa surrounded by nature the young men and women spend time playing games and telling stories: the focus of each, whether dramatic or grotesque, is love as an antidote to all hardship and despair. The inspiration for the work, which testifies to the boundless imagination and directorial craft of the renowned directing duo, comes from one of the oldest treasure troves of world literature – Boccaccio’s Decameron.


Delving into Boccaccio’s Decameron, filmmaking duo Paolo and Vittorio Taviani have come up with yet another exquisite work in which the significance of art for human existence is conveyed more metaphorically than in their earlier film Caesar Must Die, where a group of prisoners discover Shakespeare. Ten young people who find refuge from the plague out in the hills and tell each other stories at mealtimes, discover the power of words as an antidote to the scourge of the times. For their reading of The Decameron the Tavianis dispensed with all the indelicate elements which popularised it over the centuries. Unlike other film adaptations, they sought a reconstruction of plague-ravished Florence which would allow them to give greater prominence to the splendour of the Tuscan countryside and the curative power of love that dominates the tales chosen from The Decameron, regardless of where they appear in the book. In the filmmakers’ conception, it is the feeling of love perceived by the narrator and reader which represents a catharsis, providing strength to face the evil of the world around us and also within us.

Eva Zaoralová

About the director

Paolo (b. 1929, San Miniato, Italy), pictured on the left, and Vittorio (b. 1931, San Miniato, Italy) Taviani are two of the most important Italian filmmakers around today. Paolo studied art and Vittorio studied law, both in Pisa, yet they were already making their first short movie together in 1954, San Miniato, July ’44 (San Miniato, luglio ’44). As a directing duo they earned international acclaim particularly for their political, socially conscious and socio-critical films in which they often turned to events in history and, on several occasions, adapted the works of classic authors. Their greatest global successes include Father and Master (Padre padrone, 1977 – Palme d’Or and FIPRESCI Prize at Cannes), The Night of the Shooting Stars (La notte di San Lorenzo, 1982 – Jury’s Special Grand Prix at Cannes) and Caesar Must Die (Cesare deve morire, 2012 – Golden Bear at the Berlin IFF), which was screened at Karlovy Vary in 2012.


Film Europe s.r.o.
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About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Horizons
Director: Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani
Screenplay: Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani podle souboru novel Dekameron / based on the collection of novellas Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
Dir. of Photography: Simone Zampagni
Music: Giuliano Taviani
Editor: Roberto Perpignani
Art Director: Emita Frigato
Producer: Donatella Palermo, Luigi Musini
Production: Stemal Entertainment, Cinemaudici, Barbary Films
Coproduction: Rai Cinema
Cast: Lello Arena, Paola Cortellesi, Carolina Crescentini, Flavio Parenti, Vittoria Puccini
Sales: MK2
Distributor: Film Europe s.r.o.


Ivan Hronec



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