My Brother is an Only Child (2007) - Synopsis

MY BROTHER IS AN ONLY CHILD, which was presented at this year’s Cannes and Toronto film festivals, reunites director Luchetti with longtime collaborators Sandro Petraglia and Stefano Rulli, best known as screenwriters of the highly acclaimed “The Best of Youth.” Set in a small Italian town in the 60’s and 70’s, the film tells the story of two brothers who want to change the world – but in completely different ways. The elder, Manrico (Riccardo Scarmaccio), is a handsome, charismatic firebrand who becomes the prime mover in the local Communist party. Accio, (Elio Germano) the younger, more rebellious brother, finds his own contrarian voice by joining the reactionary Fascists. What starts as a typical tale of sibling rivalry becomes the story of the polarizing and paralyzing politics of those turbulent times and, the rift between the brothers is further intensified when Accio realizes that he loves his brother’s girlfriend, Francesca (Diane Fleri) who, like everyone else, is blind to Manrico’s increasingly dangerous ideas.

An intensely cinematic and incredibly incisive film about the dreams and disillusionments of the 60’s and 70’s, MY BROTHER IS AN ONLY CHILD is set in the exact era of the groundbreaking early classics of Bernardo Bertolucci and Marco Bellochio. Not only does Luchetti pay explicit homage to those films – “Before the Revolution,” “Fist in the Pocket,” and “China is Near” – he comes very close to matching their beauty, intelligence, and youthful exuberance.