- 1 hr 48 min
Co-written and directed by English film director Michael Radford from the novel Adriente Paciencia by Antonio Skarmeta, Il Postino was for a period after its 1994 release the top grossing non-English-language film of all time. Although based on events in the life of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, the film tells a ficticious story of Neruda's meeting with his postman. The novel's author had earlier adapted his novel into a feature film released in 1985 under the title Adriente Paciencia. The plot of Il Postino sees the action take place on a remote Italian island that Neruda has been exiled to by the Chilean government; Neruda is exiled because of his beliefs in communism and for publishing communist leaning works. The poet and his wife are living far from any neighbors in the Italian countryside and are the only customers on the rounds of the local postman; the house the Nerudas live in is so remote, a postman is employed by the local post office in the form of former fisherman Mario Ruoppolo. To get the job as Neruda's postman, Rouppolo declares himself a communist even though his political beliefs are not completely formed. The story now begins to focus more on Mario and his love interest, Beatrice, who he attempts to begin a relationship with. Neruda schools the postman in both poetry and politics in order to bring him closer to his own political beliefs and help him win the heart of Beatrice. The pair eventually marry, with Neruda acting as best man; the poet is then informed the Chilean government is allowing him to return to his homeland. After Neruda's departure, Mario writes to the poet but receives only a reply from his secretary asking for the return of Neruda's belongings. Years later Neruda returns to the island to find Mario dead after being fatally injured in a demonstration.