This vibrant Italian pastoral drama about a family of bee-keepers and the role of the landscape, agriculture and local traditions won the prestigious Grand Prix at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival!
Bee-keeper Wolfgang lives an isolated rural life with his wife Angelica and their four daughters in the border region between Tuscany and Umbria. Their way of life and harmony are rudely disturbed when a television crew sets up camp to shoot a reality show. After meeting an actress (Monica Bellucci), their eldest daughter, 12-year-old Gelsomina, dreams of taking part in the commercial TV competition for the ‘Most Traditional Family’. But this is completely at odds with her dad’s idealistic principles. Despite the fights he picks with his daughters, in which he behaves like a tyrant, Wolfgang’s parental love is radiant. Which is partly why Gelsomina is able eventually to forgive him.
The Wonders (Le Meraviglie) is a feast of beauty and authenticity. Wonderful scenes are played out without any frills and decoration. We see, for example, how Gelsomina, the youngest daughter, serenely conjures bees out of her mouth and lets them crawl over her face, and how the family spends the night together in one big bed in the garden. Throughout the film, the story, its layers and its beauty come together to create a magnificent whole.
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