Three Brothers (1981 film)

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Three Brothers
Three Brothers (1981 film).jpg
Film poster
Directed by Francesco Rosi
Written by Tonino Guerra
Francesco Rosi
Produced by Giorgio Nocella
Antonio Macrì
Starring Philippe Noiret
Michele Placido
Cinematography Pasqualino De Santis
Edited by Ruggero Mastroianni
Music by Pino Daniele
Piero Piccioni
Release date
  • 15 May 1981 (1981-05-15)(France)
Running time
113 minutes

Three Brothers (Italian : Tre fratelli) is a 1981 Italian film based on a work by Russian author Andrei Platonov. It was directed by Francesco Rosi and stars Philippe Noiret, Vittorio Mezzogiorno, Michele Placido and Charles Vanel.


The film won the Boston Society of Film Critics award for Best Foreign Film, and the Nastro d'Argento for Best Director and Actor. It received a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. [1] It was screened out of competition at the 1981 Cannes Film Festival. [2]


An elderly woman, the matriarch of an Italian family, dies on a farm in Southern Italy. Her husband, Donato, summons their three adult children from the cities where they now reside, bringing them back to the farm where each grapples with challenging personal dilemmas. Raffaele, one of the sons and a judge in Rome, contemplates presiding over a terrorism trial, exposing himself to the danger of an attack. Another son, Rocco, resides in Naples, devout and working as an educator in a youth detention center, driven by his desire to assist troubled youth. Nicola, the third son, lives in Turin and works as a militant factory worker embroiled in a labor dispute while navigating a troubled marriage.

Each man copes with his grief in his unique manner while simultaneously confronting other emotional hurdles. The sons reflect on the past and envision the future; Raffaele grapples with visions of his downfall, Rocco dreams of rescuing Naples' youth from crime, drugs, and corruption, and Nicola seeks solace in the embrace of his estranged wife. As they collectively mourn, Donato and his young granddaughter, Nicola's child, delve into the rhythms of farm life.



Three Brothers has an approval rating of 100% on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 5 reviews, and an average rating of 7.5/10. [3]

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  1. "The 54th Academy Awards (1982) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 2013-06-15.
  2. "Festival de Cannes: Three Brothers". Retrieved 2009-06-07.