Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Vittorio De Sica|
Joseph E. Levine
|Music by||Henry Mancini|
|Edited by||Adriana Novelli|
Compagnia Cinematografica Champion (as C. C. Champion S.p.A.)
Les Films Concordia
|March 14, 1970|
Sunflower (Italian: I girasoli) is a 1970 Italian drama film directed by Vittorio De Sica. It was the first western movie to be filmed in the USSR. Some scenes were filmed near Moscow, while others near Poltava, a regional center in Ukraine.
"A woman born for love. A man born to love her. A timeless moment in a world gone mad."
Giovanna (Sophia Loren) and Antonio (Marcello Mastroianni) get married to delay Antonio's deployment during World War II. After that buys them twelve days of happiness, they try another scheme, in which Antonio pretends to be a crazy man. Finally, Antonio is sent to the Russian Front. When the war is over, Antonio does not return and is listed as missing in action. Despite the odds, Giovanna is convinced her true love has survived the war and is still in the Soviet Union. Determined, she journeys to the Soviet Union to find him.
In the Soviet Union, Giovanna visits the sunflower fields, where there is supposedly one flower for each fallen Italian soldier, and where the Germans forced the Italians to dig their own mass graves. Eventually, Giovanna finds Antonio, but by now he has started a second family with a woman who saved his life, and they have one daughter. Childless, having been faithful to her husband, Giovanna returns to Italy, heartbroken, but unwilling to disrupt her love's new life. Some years later, Antonio returns to Giovanna, asking her to come back with him to the Soviet Union. Meanwhile, Giovanna has tried to move on with her own life, moving out of their first home together and into her own apartment. She works in a factory and is living with a man, with whom she has a baby boy. Antonio visits her and tries to explain his new life, how war changes a man, how safe he felt with his new woman after years of death. Unwilling to ruin Antonio's daughter's or her own new son's life, Giovanna refuses to leave Italy, expressing an intense emotional maturity in her choice. As they part, Antonio gives her a fur, which he had promised years before that he'd bring back for her. The lovers lock eyes as Antonio's train takes him away from Giovanna, and from Italy, forever.