The Ignorant Fairies : Maybe I don't understand Italian even WITH subtitles...

Maybe I don't understand Italian even WITH subtitles...

It may be that I was jet lagged when I saw this movie but I didn't understand the ending at all.

Could someone explain...

Antonia is pregnant. She is bringing a bottle of champagne to Michele's. Are we to assume that the father is Massimo or did Michele do the honors? When she see's Michele with someone she leaves and we see her next at the Airport. Is she leaving for good or to get an abortion?

Antonia's mother refuses early on to loan her necklace to her daughter. She says that she never takes it off and that to her it represents freedom.
When Antonia receives the necklace does this mean that she is now free in some way?

Early in the movie we learn that breaking a glass means that "someone we loves has gone away" When Michele drops the glass at the end of the movie, it refuses to break. Does that mean that Antonia is NOT leaving for good?

Re: Maybe I don't understand Italian even WITH subtitles...

Just seen this movie and basically I think Antonia leaves because the people at the gathering are talking about Michele's love life and she still feels uncomfortable with it, or maybe she doesn't want to upset him, remind him of Massimo's relationship with her by telling him of the baby? I think she's happy about the baby and is not going for an abortion rather just to spend some time alone thinking it out, like her mother suggests. I really don't think it can be Michele's as I doubt they have sex. I think you're right about the glass not breaking though, meaning she will come back, maybe even to Michele, but my husband thought this meant he had no feelings for her, that someone he loved hadn't left only someone he didn't, but I prefer our way! And her mother giving her the necklace was I think a typical mother daughter thing to do. The mother criticises and seems unloving, but she does care and gives her daughter something precious and maybe it does also signify some kind of freedom. At the end of the day I think it's nice to hypothesize and try to work out the meaning yourself. Too many films spell every little detail out like we are morons. It's nice to use your brain and even disagree a little on the interpretation. That's what makes movies fun!

"Never been alone with a man before, even with my dress on, with my dress off it's most unusual."

My ending

I just saw this on Australian tv. I really liked it butwas a bit confused buy the ending too. I suppose that I have been spoiled by American films that spell everything out in black and white, but it was late at night and I didn't really want to think!

Id like to think (in the morning) that Antonia goes back to Rome and rises her child there. Maybe not in the commune style life that Michele lives in but with contact with them and Michele can see Massimo's child grow up. As a gay man I find this a romantic notion, the closest Id be to being a father. But Im not sure that that is what Michele would want. Maybe he just needs to move on and not be reminded of the past.

I think that the glass not breaking was a sign that Antonia will come back. I think they both realise that there is more to their relationship than thier mutual longing for Massimo. They realise after they kiss and are both thinking of him that they are not eachothers substitue for Massimo but a new friend.

Any one elses thoughts??

Re: My ending

First, this was a surprisingly smart and romantic movie....a wonderful follow up to "Steam". I also agree that I like movie making that doesn't spell out everything but gives u enough to leave u thinking when the movie is over. I agree that the glass not breaking means that Antonia will return. Even in the scene where she enters the airport, there is a look on her face that implies that she is looking forward to returning to Michele when she has taken care of herself. They have a connection that goes beyond Massimo. One other thought/question....does anyone know how to get the score/soundtrack for the movie? I have searched for the composer and soundtrack but only found minor references to the score. The final song as the credits role is beautiful. I was only able to find that song on an out of print Italian soundtrack compilation with other songs from the movie, and also on the album of the artist who sings the song. Any suggestions....?

Re: My ending/Soundtrack Inquiry

I'll have to add that I believe the glass not breaking signifies that Antonia will return (as a friend) to Michele. I hope they realized that they have a lot in common since they both loved the same man for so long. They should be friends. However, I think Antonia knows that having Massimo's baby would be painful and/or a burden on Michele. She overheard him saying how his life was right before she left the cahmpaign unannounced. I believe she said she was going away with Emir (I think that was his name) so she could have the baby alone and then return later with the news.

Has anyone had any luck finding the soundtrack to this movie? I would love to order it.


the glass did not break because the feeling that Michele have is not love! he just sees a part of massimo in her that's's the same for Antonia too..(remember the kissing scene)

and...she left for a while because she had to sit and think for the future, about her child, about her feelings to Michele..whne she's with them all the time, it's not possible..and and remember when one day she suddenly came in michele's house, the others were talkin about her and michele, and michele was sayin "i have my own problems" and she herad that..maybe she wanted to leave him alone for a while too..

Re: My ending

I just got the soundtrack from

It's amazing!!!!

Re: Maybe I don't understand Italian even WITH subtitles...

I thought the glass not breaking meant that he never loved her. When they were fighting in the rain, she said that he didn't know how to love. He only loved what was inaccessible. She lives in a different sphere from him, and he was always kept away from the house by Massimo. When she says her sorta-goodbye, he stands up in the loft with his back to her. I mean, if he loved her he would have done something! He didn't love her, so the glass didn't break.

By the way, she tells the nurse that the child is with Massimo. She didn't have sex with Michele. The child represented her new life: she didn't have one with Massimo (or atleast didn't plan to) because he didn't want her to. THey married out of high school, and she basically lived for him. So the necklace showed her freedom to explore her life.

I loved the ending: Antonia finally decided to live her life on her terms.

Re: Maybe I don't understand Italian even WITH subtitles...

Admittingly, it is a bit confusing, but, as Antonia says during the talk she has with her doctor-friend who confirms her pregnancy: "è di Massimo" - meaning: "It's Massimo's". So, no Michele as a father. The reason why she goes to Michele's flat with the bottle is to celebrate with 'the other people who were close to Massimo' - perhaps she considers her baby to be a kind of collective child. However, after she hears Serra say to Michele: "perhaps you really want to be the official widow ('la vedova ufficiale')", Antonia decides to leave.

However, it's not clear whether she goes to 'Amsterdam' - which was in Italy, until quite recently, a metaphor for everything that is forbidden in Italian society - to get the abortion, or just to 'think'.

The necklace is clearly a gift passed over by her mother to Antonia to symbolize Antonia's new life and freedom.

The breaking of the glass: the first time it happens it's because - as we learn a bit later - Emmanuele, the lover of the AIDS-patient Ernesto has died, with the commune not daring to tell Ernesto that this is the case. So, when Michele drops the glass, and it remains intact, this can only mean that Antonia will return.

That's new!

Italians going to Amsterdam to get an abortion! No dearest, no Italian that I know has ever done that... Besides, abortion has been legal for over 20 years in Italy! What's illegal in Italy that isn't in Amsterdam is smoking grass and prostitution, but I believe that's the same all over Europe. Did you also happen to believe Italians don't use contraceptives? And cross themselves all the time? And don't believe in sex before marriage? How picturesque and primitive! but alas for someone's notions of a quaint and backward society, not true...

Re: That's new!

That's meant to be a discussion about a very nice Italian movie and there's actually no place for those rather offensive statements you've made!! No one meant to say that Italy is a backward society and you rather not use the word "primitive" describing someone unless you REALLY MEAN to offend him/her!
And about "sex before marriage": isn't it what your religion forbids you to do??? So are you all (Italians) sinners ;)????

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Re: Maybe I don't understand Italian even WITH subtitles...

The ending is ambiguous simply because you are supposed to take your own interpretation from it, throughout the film, different people may have different view of what was going on, if the ending had been completly decisive, telling us exactly what happened, then the whole magical, deep, meaning of the film would have been ruined!
For me I took the ending to mean that Michele and Antonia love each other. Michele's friends ask him is he in love with her and he doesn't give a straight answer, it is obvious that she is in love with him. At the airport Antonio finds her mothers necklace, this has great significance and she finally realises that she needs to let go of Massimo and move on with her life, with Michele. Michele drops his glass, it doesn't break, this for me meant that someone he loved was NOT leaving him, therefore Antonia was coming back to him.
I thought that this was one of the most beautiful, interesting films I have ever seen. Normally I hate films with subtitles, yet this film was different; it didn't matter that I don't speak italian, it didn't matter that there were subtitles!

Save Horses, Ride a Cowboy!

Re: Maybe I don't understand Italian even WITH subtitles...

My meeting with this film was quite magical and it happened in pure accident. I was watching a big award show yesterday and during the enormously long advertisements I swiched TV channels, and on one I stopped, because a woman attracted me, not quite her, but her expression. It was so sad and fragile. I mean I was spellbound by her appearence and how she desperatly wanted to speak to somebody´s sister and leave there this picture. It was such a big change from that BIG show on MTV. But I really wanted to watch the show, I was looking forward to it for many days, but then came this italian film and I forgot about the show in that same second. The film gave a wide smile on my face for the whole evening. And about the ending I think Antonia is comming back to Michele so that they can both rejoice having Massimo still with them through the baby. I wonder what the name of this baby will be:)

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Re: Maybe I don't understand Italian even WITH subtitles...

But how do you explain the kissing scene then ?

Re: Maybe I don't understand Italian even WITH subtitles...

There is a very poignant scene at one point where Michele realises Massimo was not what he imagined when he describes his first meeting with Massimo to Antonia. They were both after the same poetry book in a shop. It was an out of print book which Michele really wanted. He got there first. Massimo turns up and tries to buy this last copy off Michele. He offers him anything. I think this is why Michele falls for Massimo. Michele decides to photocopy the book and give it to Massimo. Later on, as Michele and Antonia talk about Massimo and this encounter, Antonia asks if it was a book with a red cover and Michele realises that Massimo wanted the book for his wife, not himself. Therefore the side of Massimo which he thought existed, this love for an obscure poet, which initially attracted him, was not Massimo at was Antonia. Therefore neither Antonia nor Michele knew the real Massimo at all. He was just something in between.I think against all odds, the two actually fall in love. In that conversation which Antonia overhears when she brings champagne to the apartment, when Michele is asked whether he's in love with her, he passes some comment about how he's gay and she's a woman, and Serra tells him "I'm talking about love. Try not to think with your d*ck for a change" implying that love can be separate from sexual orientation. After the kissing scene they both feel awkward simply because neither of them was expecting to feel that way.
I think it's possible that Antonia leaves with Emir so that when she comes back they might all think the baby is his, she cares about Michele and doesn't want him to hurt at Massimo's 'betrayal' in having a child with his wife. Earlier in the movie Antonia's mother admonishes her for having always done what Massimo wanted, including accepting to not have a child. We can assume Massimo did not want a child because he already had a 'family' of his own in Michele and the rest of the gang. In any case I think the glass does not break because she intends to be back.
Another point to make is that Antonia must have been this absolutely fantastic woman. Emir was the guy everyone always wanted, but nobody ever got. And it's her he falls for.

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Re: Maybe I don't understand Italian even WITH subtitles...

thank you; you changed my perception of this scene.
I used to think about it as an indication of the fact that what Antonia and Mariano felt for each other was not really love but some kind of a connection related to the fact that they both loved Massimo.
But your interpretation, I think, could be very close to what the director had in mind while creating that scene.

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Re: Maybe I don't understand Italian even WITH subtitles...

Don't read if you haven't seen it!
I actually loved your interpretations, vesaire. Well, I would normally laugh at the idea of a "straight" woman and a "gay" guy falling in love.
But here, the characters were so alive. Michele provoked such stong& contradictory feelings in me. Despise, sympathy, anger, like, confusion...
I was also feeling Antonia's emotions...
And I was so confused about the kiss scene. Even though they got nostalgic and remembered Massimo...I just think they did and do want each other.
The longing looks, hesitations, the comment Serra made about him having fallen in love with Antonia and others joking she(Serra) was such a romantic sucker...
I loved the breaking glass. And yes, Ozpetek probably did wantto leave some stuff for our imagination.
But I don't see anything wrong in her coming back, raising the kid with Michele and the gang. Her normal before Michele and his normal stopped existing after they let each other in.Another thing Serra jokes about.Michele mentions maybe it was just nostalgia and all he wants is a normal, usual life.Yet she points that he had that, (implying before Antonio)
Sorry for the longtitude folks, but I just love this movie
Do you know how Serra and Ozpetek got to be buddies? Or how her journey started in italy? She appears in non-Ferzan related projects as wellç.
Grazie :)))

Re: Maybe I don't understand Italian even WITH subtitles...

Perhaps because I am a gay man i have a somehwhat different interpretation of things.

First, it is certain that Massimo loved Antonia as well as Michele. Michele loved Massimo as well as Antonia, and Antonia loved Michele as well as massimo. This love was real for all of them.

Also it is highly unrealistic to expect Michele to ever adopt a sexual life with Antonia - its not in his makeup. He is 100% gay. While he may dream of a family, etc - its not in his makeup to have that with a woman. However this is not important because we ought not be too concerned with a mathematical interpretation of things. This story has much to teach us and its in the wrelm of ideas and feelings that we will find some inspiration about love and life.

The story begins with a book of poems. Massimo seeks a book of poems for the woman he loves and meets Michele. What is being sought is a poem about love - perhaps this could symbolize the search for love itself. I think we have to allow that the writer of the story like this would provide us with symbolic information to create feelings rather that matter of fact information from which to draw conclusions. This movie is one to be felt not completely understood - nevertheless we all must try to understand - as we too all try to find true meanings of things.

I think Massimo's name is important. It means the greatest, and i think it represents the love in the story. This love spanned 3 people and 2 very different worlds. To people not closely connected to the gay community it may be difficult to understand how different these worlds are and yet how entangled. A love that spans them both without regret is a love very strong indeed.

Massimo carried a part of both Antonia in his sole as well as a part of Michele. Michele fell in love with Massimo - the very connection that bound them was the love of the poem that was only in Massimos sole by virture of Antonia. Because of this Michele could not help but fall in love with Antonia when they finally met. They both put their lives on hold for Massimo (for love itself if you will.)

Massimo (a name which means liverally - the greatest son) brings Antonia together with Michele by his death. Consider the symbolism there. Perhaps Antonia an Michele are soul mates - perhaps between them there is the perfect love that transends the body and sexuality. As a gay man Michele can only come to love Antonia thru Massimo who acts as a conduit to bridge physical desire. Yes the kiss - they both want to kiss - and yes they do this while thinking of Massimo - does this make it less real of more real.

Part of what Michele loved in Massimo was always Antonia (the book). Massimo spanned two worlds lovig two people who were in different worlds but who both had the power to attract him - both who end up being sole mates of sorts in a very short period of time with enormous distractions of envy, jealosy, death, loss, etc.

The glass did not break. they journey is not over. She did not go to istambul she went to find life. - As michele must also do.

Maybe The perfect love cannot manefest except ever so rarely. Michele and Antonia are not going to achieve this because they are from different worlds - but in their case thru Massimo they got a glimpse of it. I would expect them to become the best of friends as years go by - even if never again they meet.

Antonia will never leave Michele - she cannot. She has been part of him for 7 years and He a part of her. They knew each other and loved each other thu Massimo - never once having met.

And the poem ends with a child - with hope, with life - a gift of love achieved thru Massimo as he takes his leave - despite his refusal to have a child prior.

This story should remind us all that our lives are a jouney that is best spent searching for what is good and beautiful - and one never knows how and where you might catch a glimpse of it.

At least this is what the move meant to me.

Re: Maybe I don't understand Italian even WITH subtitles...

Interesting but regardless of conceptions you can't really predict every feeling that a person might have, or how they will express it.

L'enfer, c'est les autres

Re: Maybe I don't understand Italian even WITH subtitles...

Well said. That's exactly what I got from it.

Re: Maybe I don't understand Italian even WITH subtitles...

Some things are meant to be ambiguous, but she clearly says Massimo is the father, and it's clear she and Michele never had sex even though they have bonded deeply and love one another non-sexually. Also she clearly expresses she sees the pregnancy as a blessing and intends to have the child.

To me the necklace means she is now free from her past, she can still treasure her love for Massimo, but is free from the bad feelings about his cheating, understands why Massimo loved Michele too, and has forgiven both of them. Even though she is shocked and hurt at first, her work as an HIV doctor would have exposed her to the common situation in which a young man who has not yet discovered his gay sexual desires truly falls in love with a beautiful admirable woman.

Why she leaves is not clear, but often women in their first months of pregnancy do not tell everyone until the second trimester when a miscarriage becomes less likely, since she was a doctor, she would probably be practical in this respect. I think she wanted a break to reassess everything on her own, but her affection for her new extended family was clearly strong and genuine and something she would return to, which is symbolized by the glass not breaking.

Ambient, Experimental & Neo-classical Music :

Re: Maybe I don't understand Italian even WITH subtitles...

The thing about the director, as I later found out, is that he is not only a bisexual but he also firmly believes that no human is %100 gay or %100 straight. It is a radical thought but if you consider the idea, at least for the characters in the film, then even a sexual connection between Antonia and Michele becomes possible.