Watch The Birds, the Bees and the Italians
- 1 hr 55 min
The Birds, the Bees and the Italians is a 1966 comedy directed by Pietro Germi. The movie is a satirical take on the sexual mores of Italian society in the 1960s, and tells the story of a small town that is thrown into chaos when a budget committee announces that it will award 1 million lire to the town that can increase its population the most in a year. The film's opening scene introduces us to the various characters who inhabit the town. We meet Ruggero (Gastone Moschin), a respected industrialist who is secretly having an affair with his secretary; Emilio (Alberto Lionello), a philandering husband with a wandering eye; and Amalia (Virna Lisi), a beautiful divorcee who is the object of desire for many of the town's men. As the contest to increase the town's population begins, the characters all start to pursue their own schemes to win the prize. Ruggero decides to have a child with his mistress, while Emilio tries to convince his wife to have more children with him. Amalia, on the other hand, is pursued by a number of suitors, including the town's veterinarian and a wealthy playboy. As the year progresses, the competition becomes increasingly cutthroat, with each character resorting to more and more desperate measures to win. Ruggero's mistress becomes pregnant, but he is forced to keep his relationship hidden when his wife begins to suspect his infidelity. Emilio, meanwhile, becomes involved with a local prostitute, and Amalia finds herself the subject of a number of rumors and gossip. The climax of the film comes in a chaotic and hilarious sequence in which the town's residents all try to conceive at the same time, in order to win the prize. The scene is a riotous depiction of the sexual frenzy that has overtaken the town, and includes some of the film's most memorable moments. Throughout the film, Germi's satire is razor sharp, skewering the hypocrisy and moral ambiguity of Italian society. The characters are all flawed and complex, with their own motivations and desires. The film's frank portrayal of sexuality was controversial at the time of its release, but it remains a landmark in Italian cinema. The Birds, the Bees and the Italians is a film that rewards multiple viewings, with its intricate plot and subtle nuances. It is a masterpiece of Italian cinema, and an essential watch for anyone interested in the history of film.