“BUT FOREVER IN MY MIND”–coming of age in Rome

“But Forever In My Mind”

Coming of Age in Rome

Amos Lassen

“But Forever in My Mind” is a very tender Italian coming-of-age story that has a great deal of depth. The movie is a multiple award winner and is a must-see. It manages to combine several elements—love, politics, and coming of age during one of the most turbulent ties in Italian history, the 1960’s when the country was a buzz with revolutionary ideas. It follows the teen years of Silvio when his high school is overtaken by his fellow students.

Silvio is totally not interested in the student revolution. His mind is set upon Valentina who just happens to be the prettiest girl in the school. Valentina, however, already has a boyfriend who is intensely jealous. One day when the Valentina and Silvio are alone they share a kiss and Silvio mistakenly tells his best friend about it By the end of the day everyone knows about the kiss and there are two students who are not happy—Martino, Valentina’s boyfriend and Claudia, a young girl who has a huge crush on Silvio.

Things become very complicated and Silvio who lives with his ex-revolutionary parents finds himself being stifled.

What I have written seems to be quite serious but the movie is in effect a farcical comedy of confused intentions. At the end of the movie, Silvio finds a new person to love, someone he had regarded as only a friend but who is actually much, much more.

This is an energetic movie that movies very quickly. The plot deals not only with student revolution but also with kids wanting to make love for the first time. The title has to do with remembering that first time that one experiences something.  The film looks at adolescence from the adolescent point of view. Covering a day in the life of Italian high school kids who rebel against their school’s policies, we also watch the changes in the burgeoning sexuality of the kids. The boys moon over their awaited first sexual experience and the girls are a good deal more subdued. The kids are actually rebelling against two kids of authority—their school’s and the society in which they live that does not look fondly on premarital sex. The physical rebellion at the school parallels the rebellion of the kid’s hormones within their collective bodies.

The movie reminds us that  what we live is new, not to be repeated and too intimate to be talked about.

Each of our experiences is unique even though they may be similar to those of others. We all go through a period that will affect the way we do things and during which our identities are formed just as Silvio and his friends do. With subtle humor, we get a look at ourselves to a degree. One of the tings I loved about this film is watching Silvio’s feel discomfort at some of the things he does while they did the very same as revolutionaries.

On the surface ths is a very simple movie but only so on the surface. When you realize that you are watching your own story, perhaps altered a bit, the movie takes on new meaning,

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