Watch Kids' Reviews of
BLUEST EYES, THE

What to know: A fascinating tale about the 70,000 children who were saved from hunger and disease thanks to the effort and sonidarity of women and men who were building a new Italy.
BLUEST EYES, THE is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Recommended age 12-18
45 minutes
VIDEO
SIMONA CAPPIELLO
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BLUEST EYES, THE cover image
The Bluest Eyes allows viewers to peek into a lesser-known event in history right after World War II, when Italy was reeling from fascism and the Communist Party was gaining momentum. With a strong narrative voice and lots of interesting archival footage and photos, this film is a portrait of empathy and care during political turmoil, of benevolence during reconstruction, and of a country working together to aid the next generation.

After Mussolini's fall, the Italian Communist Party and a group of women (who had just been granted the right to political involvement) created the "Comitati Per La Salvezza Dei Bambini," an initiative to move 70,000 children from poorer families in Southern Italy, mainly Naples, to Northern Italy, especially the region of Emilio Romagna, where they could stay with wealthier families for some time. This is the story of those 70,000 children.

As historical documentaries go, this is certainly high on my list! I love how the film doesn't focus much on World War II as a whole, instead choosing to expand on a facet of the rise of the Communist Party, utilizing the stories of survivors to enhance the storytelling. I truly felt like I was one of the children from Napoli traveling to the north. It's a masterpiece!

The camera work in The Bluest Eyes is a mix of still interview shots, Ken Burns-style zoom-ins on archival photos or footage, and some wonderfully artistic, well-lit shots of a woman on a train (which really impressed me - I'll bring this up soon). It's certainly high-quality and is suitable for exhibition. Its setting is in Italy, and is historically accurate. The background music is a beautiful mix of old and new Italian songs that it really add to the flavor of the film, especially in scenes where archival footage or newspaper clippings about the event are shown. All of the individuals featured have experienced the subject of the film, and aid in the creation of an emotionally-moving plot. One teary-eyed woman remembers how she was welcomed by her host family. Simona Cappiello and Manolo Turri Dall'Orto are the film's directors; Simona Cappiello is also the screenwriter. Fondazione Gerardo Chiaromonte/ParteUtile is the producer. Of all of the parties involved, Cappiello and Dall'Orto's work as directors shines the most, as the interviews, archival footage, and narration blend together very well, forming a comprehensive package. I love the way the train journey is described, as well as the interspersed shots and voiceovers of a mysterious woman on a train who acts as the narrator, moving the story forward and transitioning between interviews.

The film promotes teamwork and joining together even in hyper-partisan times. It does contains bloody, gory acts of violence such as when bombs are dropping, destruction of railroads, etc. but it's all stuff we could find in a war documentary in school. I had no idea about this event at all, so this was very educational.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It's a wonderful educational film that would be a superb addition to a youth and family film festival. By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST!

The Bluest Eyes allows viewers to peek into a lesser-known event in history right after World War II, when Italy was reeling from fascism and the Communist Party was gaining momentum. With a strong narrative voice and lots of interesting archival footage and photos, this film is a portrait of empathy and care during political turmoil, of benevolence during reconstruction, and of a country working together to aid the next generation.

After Mussolini's fall, the Italian Communist Party and a group of women (who had just been granted the right to political involvement) created the "Comitati Per La Salvezza Dei Bambini," an initiative to move 70,000 children from poorer families in Southern Italy, mainly Naples, to Northern Italy, especially the region of Emilio Romagna, where they could stay with wealthier families for some time. This is the story of those 70,000 children.

As historical documentaries go, this is certainly high on my list! I love how the film doesn't focus much on World War II as a whole, instead choosing to expand on a facet of the rise of the Communist Party, utilizing the stories of survivors to enhance the storytelling. I truly felt like I was one of the children from Napoli traveling to the north. It's a masterpiece!

The camera work in The Bluest Eyes is a mix of still interview shots, Ken Burns-style zoom-ins on archival photos or footage, and some wonderfully artistic, well-lit shots of a woman on a train (which really impressed me - I'll bring this up soon). It's certainly high-quality and is suitable for exhibition. Its setting is in Italy, and is historically accurate. The background music is a beautiful mix of old and new Italian songs that it really add to the flavor of the film, especially in scenes where archival footage or newspaper clippings about the event are shown. All of the individuals featured have experienced the subject of the film, and aid in the creation of an emotionally-moving plot. One teary-eyed woman remembers how she was welcomed by her host family. Simona Cappiello and Manolo Turri Dall'Orto are the film's directors; Simona Cappiello is also the screenwriter. Fondazione Gerardo Chiaromonte/ParteUtile is the producer. Of all of the parties involved, Cappiello and Dall'Orto's work as directors shines the most, as the interviews, archival footage, and narration blend together very well, forming a comprehensive package. I love the way the train journey is described, as well as the interspersed shots and voiceovers of a mysterious woman on a train who acts as the narrator, moving the story forward and transitioning between interviews.

The film promotes teamwork and joining together even in hyper-partisan times. It does contains bloody, gory acts of violence such as when bombs are dropping, destruction of railroads, etc. but it's all stuff we could find in a war documentary in school. I had no idea about this event at all, so this was very educational.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It's a wonderful educational film that would be a superb addition to a youth and family film festival. By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST!

The narrative of a heroic page in the history of Italy: the forgotten journey of 70.000 children from the South to the North of Italy during the second post-war period. Between 1946 and 1952 more than 70.000 southern children were saved from hunger and disease thanks to the effort and solidariet´┐Ż of woman and man who build a new Italy. This is their story.

The creation of the Committees for the rescue of children is an example of a both spontaneous and organized action that tied together the North and the South of the country, the rich and the poor, in the common effort to support childhood. With the co-ordination of the Italian Communist Party and thank to the strenuous work of women who had just been admitted to political activity, 70.000 children from Southern Italy were given the chance to stay with wealthier families from the Central and Northern Italy for shorter or longer periods of times. A neglected page of social even more than political history, almost unknown and never studied before, nonetheless a bright example of co-operation: A country in a difficult moment of its history - like Italy in post-war period was - rallies to protect its sons.

This documentary tells about the journey of these children - a physical but also symbolic journey that brought together two different "Italies", distant in language and culture, with the common goal to give hope to the most vulnerable part of the population.

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