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:: 15 Amore

When stories of war are told, emotions run deep and it tears at the heart to relive personal experiences. Director Maurice Murphy, a veteran of films and television in Australia, found the time and space to recount his childhood years, when he lived through the closing period of World War II. At the family’s property, with brother and sister, a determined mother, and two Italian criminals, was young Brendan (Nicholas Bryant). We hear his story from Bill Hunter (as a grown-up Brendan), of human relationships and how war impacted on these people. Brendan’s father was fighting for the cause, so we witness a powerful portrait of a type of story largely removed from Australian history recollections. The two Italian soldiers, Alfredo (Steve Bastoni) and Joseph (Domenic Galati), are made to keep the house of Dorothy (Lisa Hensley) and, hence, set about introducing their culture to the children. The children, bright-eyed and immune to the terrors of war, take a liking to the supposed enemy, which the two Italians supposedly represent.
We are keen, as an audience, to understand the characters, and the complex relationship between them. The story takes a dramatic turn, as, with the introduction of two German Jewish refugees into the household, events turn darker. Madame Guttman (Gertaud Ingeborg) and her daughter Rachel (Tara Jakjzewicz) change the tone of the film. Certain events necessitate the calling of army officials in seeking the happenings in the household. A seemingly harmonious setting is suddenly disturbed.
Maurice Murphy provides fine direction in this low-budget, yet inspiring, story. He captures the mood and atmosphere adeptly and it’s a moving reminder to many of an untold relationship between countries at war. Murphy shows the fear, the loneliness, and the uncertainties of the times. But it’s also a world full of adventure, love and happiness. These varying ingredients make for an appealing film. The performances of the cast are terrific. They all seemed to bond into the powerful imagery that wartime Australia exhibited. It’s easy to be stimulated by the subtle, poignant performances and compelling music and cinematography. “15 Amore” is a concise and powerful personal story of moving proportions that deserves to be seen in furthering your education about the times in which we once lived.