A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
There's an underlying theme of the ridiculousness of unjust authority -- from a dictator to a priest -- as well as the sense that the Italians are resilient and that life carries on despite extreme circumstances.
Positive Role Models
Not so much a study in heroism as it is a glimpse into ordinary people living during a specific place and time.
Violence & Scariness
A father is forced to drink alcohol by Fascist interrogators. A mentally ill man sits in a tree and throws rocks at those attempting to climb the tree and take him down. Soldiers fire guns at a record player playing a "subversive" song from a bell tower.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Strong sexual content. During a confession with a priest, a boy flashes back to the women he has had sexual fantasies about. Four boys sit in a car and masturbate, moaning the names of women they are fantasizing about. There is no nudity, but the car bounces in rhythm with their movements. A large woman sits on the lap of a teen boy and has the boy suck on her exposed breasts. The prostitute of the village is often seen leering and moaning at men as they pass by.
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Frequent profanity: "F--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "cock," "ass," and "bastard."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult characters smoke cigarettes. In the school bathroom, two boys share a cigarette. At the dinner table and on a picnic, characters drink wine.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Amarcord, one of Fellini's best movies and one of the most evocative coming-of-age stories ever made, does not flinch from frank sexual content. For example, in one scene, four boys in their early teens sit in a car and masturbate, moaning the names of women they're fantasizing about. In another scene, a woman sits on a teen boy's lap and shoves her exposed breasts into his face, ordering him to suck and kiss them. Several characters smoke (including teen boys in one scene) and there's some social drinking, too. Language (subtitled) is strong throughout, including "f--k," "a--hole," and more. For mature adults, Amarcord is a timeless celebration of the intersections between life, dreams, imagination, and memory. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
For coming-of-age films and filmmaker's nostalgic glimpses into their childhoods, Fellini's Amarcord is as good as it gets. These oft-used genres and subject matters become wholly original, bittersweet, and unforgettable. Instead of nostalgia for place (anytime one of the characters, The Lawyer, attempts to lecture the audience on the town's storied history, he is greeted with fart noises or snowballs from fellow townspeople), or time (a scene where townspeople gather to pay tribute to Il Duce transforms into a fantasy sequence where one of the teen boys dreams of marrying the object of his affections), but of people.
This isn't a straightforward narrative, but a series of instances and recollections (Amarcord means "I Remember" in Italian) where teachers and priests seem just as oppressive as the dictator running the country. Sexually frustrated teen boys, fruit vendors with filled with farfetched stories of their adventures, mentally unstable uncles, seductive older women, and pontificating lawyers capture the eccentricities and passions of the moment, but the magic of Amarcord is when it moves far beyond nostalgia into the realm of universal human experience.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.