Rome Boy

Friends By Chance directed by Francesco Bruni (Italy) 2017 is an intergenerational drama.

Allessandro hangs out with a small group of young men who seem to have little going for them.

His father insists that he work as a caretaker for an aging poet with Alzheimer’s.

Though he’s resistant at first, the two develop a warm relationship beneficial for both.

The film is one of the narrative features of New Italian Cinema 2017.

copyright © 2017 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved


War Cry

Testament Of Youth directed by James Kent (UK) 20015 is based on the First World War memoir by Vera Brittain. It’s an engaging historical drama that reveals the courage and tenacity of its narrator and exposes the savage brutality of a pivotal event in time.



It primarily focuses on upper middle class society, an elegant home in a bucolic setting, the comradery of young men and women who dream of making their mark in the world. Their good intentions betrayed by forces beyond their control.

Unfortunately those who set the course for a conflagration that cost the lives of many on both sides of the conflict evidently cared little for the consequences of their decisions. The Great War was the prelude for even greater disasters involving people throughout the Mediterranean.

The film opens in the Bay Area 12 June 2015 at the Landmark Clay Theatre and Century 9 in San Francisco. 19 June 2015 it opens at the Albany Twin in Albany, Guild in Menlo Park, Century 16 in Pleasant Hill, and Regency Cinema Six in San Rafael.

copyright © 2015 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

Remembering Hardship

When Snow Fell On The Lemon Tree Blossoms, by Leonidas Petrakis, Pella Publishing 2012 is a lyrical account of a difficult period in contemporary Greek history. While it’s presented as a fictional memoir, it might very well be based on the experiences of its author.

Greece was ruled by a dictator on the eve of World War II. During the 1940s the country was invaded by Italian, Bulgarian, German, and British forces. Both communist and fascist Greek guerillas fought against the harsh Nazi occupation. Afterwards the left and right engaged in a bitter civil war. However its political future was predetermined by British, American, and Russian leaders who made sure Greece remained within the Western block during the Cold War.

This book manages to describe the day-to-day difficulties facing the Greek people during that decade. Families divided by politics and differing loyalties. Some neighbors coming together to help one another and others exploiting the situation for personal gain.

I found the voice of the young narrator unconvincing. He sometimes spoke as a child, while at other times his words were clearly expressions of a mature adult. The work would have gained credibility if it were told by a man looking back at what occurred during an earlier time in his life. Allowing him to show the child he once was and also permitting him to reflect on his past experiences.

copyright © 2012 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved