Italian Film Festival

The Night of the Shooting Stars (La notte di San Lorenzo)

Info: Italy, 1982, 105 mins, DCP, 19+

Language: Italian with English subtitles

Director: Paolo and Vittorio Taviani

Cast: Omero Antonutti, Margarita Lozano, Claudio Bigagli


  • Sunday January 7, 2018 - 8:45 pm

"Revealing unanticipated beauties everywhere, even amid the horrors of war … the Tavianis’ masterpiece." The New York Times

"So good it’s thrilling." The New Yorker

"One of the greatest films of the 1980s." Film Threat

“We wanted to take the legacy of neorealism and add to it the grandeur of the spettacolo — the panoramas of John Ford, the melodrama of Giotto’s frescoes.” Vittorio Taviani

The Night of San Lorenzo, the night of the shooting stars, is the night when dreams come true in Italian folklore. In 1944, a group of Italians flee their town after hearing rumours that the Nazis plan to blow it up and that the Americans are about to arrive to liberate them.

“Set in the Tuscan countryside during the summer of 1944, with the American forces advancing and the Germans in retreat, Night of the Shooting Stars is an unpredictable, often comic blend of sentimental naturalism and skillful hyperbole. It’s also quasi-autobiographical — some of the incidents occurred in the Tavianis’ home village and were the subject of one of their early documentaries. Although the girl is an intermittent narrator, the emphasis is on the ensemble of townspeople, showing “the facts of that period transformed by the popular imagination,” Vittorio Taviani explained in a 1983 Film Quarterly article.