A film with more than the usual spoiler issues. Talking about it in any detail feels akin to handing you a gift-wrapped present and saying, "I hope you like it -- It's a thriller about a diabolical secret experiment."
The first must-see film of the year.
If you like to be scared, if you like to laugh, and if you like to learn a thing or two at the movies, this absolutely cannot be missed.
All of these films share one commonality, that being a kind of emotional center that humanizes a cast of monsters.
I LOVED the book, but didn't care for the movie at all. It was sitting on my TV for 5 weeks before I had the courage to watch it, and I was very disappointed. I just don't think it truly conveys the horror of the book or what actually happened 90+ years ago. Having read book after book, both fiction and non-fiction, about the Armenian Genocide I hoped for, and expected, a better movie. The acting was awkward, the cinematography was lacking and so much of the book was left out or changed that I doubt I would have been able to keep track of who was who or what was going on if I hadn't read the book (and I read it some 4 years ago.) Having said this, I still think it is worth seeing, if for no other reason than to support a film that no American distributor is willing to touch, and no American filmmaker or studio has the guts to make. See the movie, then PLEASE, PLEASE read the book!
I would describe the "La Masseria Delle Allodole" as a very weak film. When I first watched the film, the first idea that came into my mind was that the film was produced by a foreigner not by an Armenian film-maker. The plot is too primitive I would describe it even somehow without logic. You can understand at the very first sight that the film is produced by a person who didn't live the tragedy that he tries to transfer us. The characters are fake.. The character of Nunik the Armenian girl seems to have nothing to do with real Armenian girl, her behavior is disgusting and not adequate. I am very disappointed with this movie. By watching this movie you can't understand what Armenian people in fact passed through. The inhuman tortures of Armenian people, their starvation, cruel deportation from their motherland described in the movie totally correspond to the reality, however the producers weren't able to show the true emotional experience of Armenians. Their real sufferings and feelings are much deeper and tragic. I think you should be an Armenian so that you really describe that pain. Unfortunately I have to say that I didn't like the acting either. It was not persuasive, it was artificial and insincere.
Let me start by saying this: until this movie I was a huge fan of the Taviani Brothers. They have contributed so much to the contemporary Italian film-making industry and their epic films such as "Padre Padrone" and "La Notte di San Lorenzo" are landmarks in not only Italian, but also global film history.Therefore, you could guess how much of a disappointment this movie was for me. If the attempt was to make an Armenian "Schindler's List", the end-result is far from it. The plot is predictable to the extent of being boring, the characters are flat, the acting is hammy, and there are so many gaps and contradictions in the story-line. More importantly, you do not get even a glimpse of the usual luring cinematography of Taviani Brothers, something which they are deservedly famous for.All these might be because, probably for the first time in their career, the directors are indeed not very familiar with the topic they are treating. They do not feel as comfortable as they do when they move on "Italian terrain", the people and the stories of which they know almost by heart.Hence, you end up with unrealistic (the scene on the forced march to Aleppo) or not thoroughly explained (who were the "Young Turks", did they have a plan to massacre the Armenians, if so what exactly was the plan or the motives behind it??)scenes. Add to this the over-exaggerated acting (the love story between Youssof and Nonik fills you with pain, not because of its eventual horrible ending, but due to the inadequacy of its acting)...you get a very very weak film indeed.The whole controversy about the Armenian genocide...well, I leave it to the Turks and the Armenians to discuss that and (hopefully!!) come to an agreement between themselves in the future. However, it is indeed such a pity that two very important Italian directors succumbed to the temptation of making a film on a "hot topic", (probably with the idea that it would "sell") and sacrificing in between, all artistic considerations. Leave the controversy aside, but purely from a cinematographic perspective, "Masseria delle Allodole" was indeed a huge disappointment!
It started in an uncertain way, with too many obvious passages and with characters showing at once what we should expect of them. Yet a surprise was in the making. The first part seemed a déjà vu exercise and might have been shot about anything else - I feel I have seen exactly the same plot in some TV film on the Jewish Holocaust. Then the killing began and the whole world was changed. The realm of the obvious became the realm of terror. Villains and heroes change places. Some clues take a long time to unveil, and this is good. The realm of horror is the right background of an epic tale of suffering and resistance. Here, hallucinations and dreams are the food of the mind and of the empty body. Reality is cruel and crude and mind-torturing and in this pitch of darkness we are really surprised to witness a few really human beings. The epic resistance of Nonik and the unexpected accusation of Yussuf make for a great tale on a few remains of humanity.