ON THE BEACH BEYOND THE PIER

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ON THE BEACH BEYOND THE PIER (SULLA SPIAGGIA E DI LA' DAL MOLO)

ON THE BEACH BEYOND THE PIER (SULLA SPIAGGIA E DI LA' DAL MOLO)

original title:

SULLA SPIAGGIA E DI LA' DAL MOLO

directed by:

cinematography:

set design:

costume design:

production:

CEP, supported by MiBACT

country:

Italy

year:

1999

film run:

130'

format:

colour

release date:

14/04/2000

Viareggio 1983. Psychiatrist and writer Andrea attends the funeral of his old friend Guido, who has died in England where he lived for many years. Back to the now deserted mental hospital of Maggiano, Andrea sees several past events before him. Memories. Especially the summer of 1944 that saw the final Nazis' retreat from Tuscany...
Guido, who belongs to the fascist party, is captured by the partisans and sentenced to death. Andrea is part of the anti-fascist group and when he finds his enemy-friend he realises his psychological and physical condition is extremely bad. He manages to have Guido consigned to his care and then hides him in the hospital. Here, Andrea begins his own personal attempts to try and bring Guido's mind back. Andrea's method is a sort of "memories therapy": during endless nights he will tell his friend, who seems not to hear him at ali, about their lives as teenagers spent together, in the 1920s. He will tell him about the other guys, their friends, with whom they shared games and adventures, and again about the "Three Days" of Viareggio's revolution, the magic of cinema, and fate that called most of them out at sea. Nives is also reminded and the role she had in the two men's lives is soon revealed: Nives was loved by Andrea, but the woman was in love with Guido and eventually would get married to him. However, she felt more than mere affection for Andrea and this bond would last for a long time. The three people's lives intertwined throughout the historical time of Fascism which was filled by turbulence, moments of joy, hopes, dreams and disappointment. At the outbreak of Second World War, the friends would find themselves on opposite sides and become enemies.
Among hopes and disenchantment, and also thanks to music (Guido is a composer and pianist), the man will finally pull through and will emerge from mental distress. During a tragic and tense scene, the reasons that led to Guido's condition will be revealed.
When the Allies forces arrive, Guido and Nives manage to escape towards England thanks to Andrea's help. Guido and Andrea won't see each other for the next thirty years. On the night of Viareggio Literary Prize awards, in which Andrea achieved recognition for his writing, Andrea meets Guido. It is an emotional and embarrassing moment, a sort of "day of reckoning" filled by affection and recriminations, between two men who are now so distant from one another, as distant as the old Viareggio days of their youth.