On the day in 1940 that Italy enters the war, two things happen to the 12-year-old Renato: he gets his first bike, and he gets his first look at Malèna. She is a beautiful, silent outsider who’s moved to this Sicilian town to be with her husband, Nico. He promptly goes off to war, leaving her to the lustful eyes of the men and the sharp tongues of the women. During the next few years, as Renato grows toward manhood, he watches Malèna suffer and prove her mettle. He sees her loneliness, then grief when Nico is reported dead, the effects of slander on her relationship with her father, her poverty and search for work, and final humiliations. Will Renato learn courage from Malèna and stand up for her? —IMDb
After staging two plays by Pirandello and De Filippo with an amateur dramatics company at just sixteen years of age, Tornatore took his first tentative steps in the world of cinema through documentaries (one of these, “Ethnic minorities in Sicily (Le minoranze etniche in Sicilia)”, won him an award at the Salerno film festival) and television work (for RAI he produced “Portrait of a thief (Ritratto di rapinatore)”, “Guttuso’s diary (Diario di Guttuso)”, “Sicilian writers and films: Giovanni Verga, Luigi Pirandello, Vitaliano Brancati, Leonardo Sciascia (Scrittori siciliani e cinema: Verga, Pirandello, Brancati, Sciascia”). In 1984 he was second unit director on “Cento giorni a Palermo” by Giuseppe Ferrara and, two years later, finally made his directorial debut: “The professor (Il camorrista)” (1986), a hard-hitting portrait of a Naples underworld boss, is a sturdy, inspired work that successfully combines political considerations and spectacular scenes. Nonetheless, it was with his… read more
"I pedaled as fast as I could, as if I were escaping from longing, from innocence, from her. Time has passed, and I have loved many women. And as they've held me close and asked if I will remember them, I've said 'Yes, I will remember you.' But the only one I've never forgotten is the one who never asked, Malena."