Italian for Beginners

Here is a charming R-rated Danish film from the year 2000; "Italiensk for begyndere" (English captions). This film was honored by film festivals all over Europe and the United States. It has adult themes, e.g., impotence, fetal alcohol syndrome, and aging or abusive parents, yet I just finished watching my DVD again with a huge smile on my face.

We are in a Danish town, where we meet our small cast of characters. They include:
  • A recently widowed pastor, whose wife had suffered from schizophrenia. He becomes the acting pastor at a local church because the elderly minister has been alienating his parishioners.
  • A hotel clerk who provides the minister with temporary quarters. Our shy clerk has a massive crush on a lovely young Italian woman who works in the hotel kitchen.
  • A blunt young man whose bad-tempered attacks on dining room patrons jeopardizes his job in the hotel restaurant.
  • A loyal young woman who quits the hotel kitchen when her cranky friend is fired.
  • A clumsy young woman who works in a bakery; her hateful father is housebound, demanding and verbally abusive.
  • A young hairdresser who cares for her terminally ill mother while running her own modest salon.
A small class in conversational Italian forms at an adult education center; for one reason or another, all of our cast shows up. We get to watch their progress and see their reward.

Expect humor, pathos, generosity of spirit, romance, courage and humanity. Can we ask for anything more?
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Here is a preview:
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