The Way We Laughed

Watch The Way We Laughed

  • 1998
  • 2 hr 4 min
  • 6.8  (821)
  • 68

In the 1998 Italian film, The Way We Laughed, director and writer Gianni Amelio tells the story of two brothers, Giovanni (Francesco Giuffrida) and Pietro (Enrico Lo Verso), from a rural Sicilian village who move to Turin, the economic and cultural capital of northern Italy, in search of a better life. Giovanni studies at university while Pietro works various odd jobs until he lands a position as a janitor at a prestigious high school. Despite their different paths, the brothers remain close, sharing meals and memories while they navigate a society that often looks down on southern Italians as uneducated and uncivilized.

Through their interactions with Turin's citizens and each other, the brothers confront issues of identity, prejudice, and the complex relationships between the North and the South. Giovanni, who begins the film as a confident and ambitious student, finds himself struggling to connect with his classmates and adjust to the fast-paced city life. Pietro, on the other hand, is more adaptable, using his charm and wit to ingratiate himself with the school's teachers and wealthy benefactors.

As the brothers assimilate into Turin's social scene, they encounter various characters who challenge their perceptions of themselves and their place in society. One such character is Mario (Fabrizio Gifuni), a fellow southern Italian who has already made a name for himself in Turin as a successful businessman. Initially an ally and friend, Mario eventually reveals a darker side as his ambitions lead him to exploit his fellow Italian immigrants.

Through Gianni and Pietro's experiences with Mario, as well as their encounters with other Turin residents, Amelio paints a vivid portrait of a divided Italy, with its regional tensions and class struggles. However, the film's heart lies in the relationship between the two brothers, who despite their differences, share a bond that transcends geography and social status.

The Way We Laughed is a poignant and insightful portrayal of the immigrant experience, particularly for those who must navigate the complex terrain of multiple identities and social systems. Through the eyes of the two brothers, Amelio captures the beauty and trauma of leaving behind one's homeland and attempting to forge a new life in a foreign land.

The film is also notable for its stunning cinematography, particularly in its depictions of Turin's industrial landscapes and the contrasts between the city's modernity and the rural beauty of Sicily. The Way We Laughed won various awards, including the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and was also Italy's entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 1999 Academy Awards.

Overall, this is a beautifully crafted film that explores the human heart and the challenges of immigration in a way that is both sensitive and insightful. It is a must-see for anyone interested in Italian cinema or the immigrant experience.

The Way We Laughed
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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    2 hr 4 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.8  (821)
  • Metascore