LE MERAVIGLIE 

/ Il film

Directed by

Alice Rohrwacher

Year of Production

2014

Run Time

100'

Production

a tempesta/Carlo Cresto-Dina production produced with Rai Cinema

SYNOPSIS

Gelsomina’s family works according to some special rules. First of all, Gelsomina, at twelve years of age, is head of the family and her three younger sisters must obey her: sleep when she tells them to and work under her watchful eye. But the world, the outside, mustn’t know anything about their rules, and must be kept away from them. They must learn to disguise themselves.

Gelsomina’s father, Wolfgang, is a foreigner and Gelsomina is the future queen of this strange and improbable kingdom he has constructed for them. A male heir would have been better, of course, but Gelsomina is strong and determined and what’s more, she has a special talent for beekeeping and making honey. It’s Gelsomina that retrieves the swarms from the trees, who organizes the honey collection, and she is the one that carries the hives.

Whilst all around them the countryside is being burnt up by pesticides and rural life is falling apart and becoming something different, a TV competition arrives from the city offering heaps of money and a luxury cruise for the most “traditional” family. The show is presented by the good fairy, Milly Catena, and it’s called Village Wonders.

Gelsomina wants to participate, but Wolfgang won’t even consider it. Something else is tormenting him: the new European laws regarding farm produce. If they don’t get their honey lab in order, with washable walls and well-defined working spaces, they will have to cease production. They have to work very hard to expand the bee colonies, and get the lab up to standard. In his desperate search for cheap labor, Wolfgang agrees to take on a boy with problems, Martin, who comes from a youth rehabilitation program run by the German government. The tension mounts: between a silent evasive boy onto whom Wolfgang projects his desire for a son, and, counteracting this, the outward reaching force of Gelsomina that will stop at nothing just in order to see the good fairy again.

Le meraviglie tells a small but cruel love story between a father and daughter, their torments, jealousy and shyness. They give abundantly, and betray each other painfully. It tells of the ties that bind one family together, and a land undergoing a profound transformation.

It is also the story of a great failure, through which they all gather strength.

Le meraviglie | official trailer