The Last Paradiso

Movie review by
Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media
The Last Paradiso Movie Poster Image
Soapy Italian romantic drama has language, sex, violence.
  • NR
  • 2021
  • 107 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Showcases a lot of hurtful behavior, from infidelity to rape to murder.

Positive Role Models

Ciccio is a married man, a charming rake who cheats on his wife openly. He speaks up against the low prices being paid by the rich olive oil producers. He's impulsive, hot-headed. His brother Antonio seems just as passionate but more measured in his speech and actions.

Violence

A man is brutally beaten to death with a shovel. The murderer then seemingly cuts off the victim's genitals (off-screen). He sends the body back to the town square draped over a donkey to send a warning to any who might wish to rebel against the status quo. Soon after, in retaliation, an unseen person beats the murderer and his son to death; blood is seen. A boss routinely rapes the powerless underage girls who pick olives for him. One woman is attacked and stabs the attacker with a fork; no blood. Bloodied body of dead man washed before a funeral.

Sex

Married men have affairs with the wives of others, even father children that way. Powerful men demand sex from young women who work for them.  A woman's breasts are shown. A man and woman have sex.

Language

"F--k," "s--t," "bastard," "d--khead," "whore."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Last Paradiso, set among 1950s Italian olive farmers, focuses on the village playboy, who is married but openly has affairs with the local wives and daughters. He also protests the oppressive practices of the Mafia-like olive merchants. For this he pays a bloody price. Given the mature themes, only older teens would find this remotely interesting. Violence includes three fatal beatings, rape and attempted rape, and an instance of a woman defending herself against a sexual attacker by forking him in the thigh. A man is brutally beaten to death with a shovel. The murderer then seemingly cuts off the victim's genitals (off-screen). He sends the body back to the town square draped over a donkey to send a warning to any who might wish to rebel against the status quo. Language includes "f--k," "s--t," "bastard," "d--khead," and "whore." Men and woman kiss and have sex. A woman's breasts are seen. Adults use alcohol and cigarettes. In Italian with English subtitles.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byWestpeepjon September 30, 2021

Southern Italian 1950’s based drama

Best watched in Italian with English subtitles to experience (some poor translation into English which doesn’t help grasp nuances and meaning) some of what was... Continue reading

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What's the story?

THE LAST PARADISO is set in the 1950s in the Italian countryside where olives are grown, harvested, and pressed into oil. The power is in the hands of a few landowners who control the price of the olives, keeping the local farmers and pickers on starvation wages. Schettino (Antonio Gerardi) is the boss overseeing the pickers, and he regularly singles out young girls who need the money, separating them from the other workers to rape them. He has bought off the local police and believes he can threaten and even kill with impunity. Ciccio (Riccardo Samarcio, also a co-writer) is the local playboy, seducing other men's wives and daughters for fun until he falls in love with boss Schettino's daughter, Bianca (Gaia Bermani Amaral). They dream of leaving their backwater behind, but Ciccio also wants to stay and stand up for the rights of his fellow workers. What will he do?

Is it any good?

This movie is a puzzler and isn't the lovely romance that the movie poster promises. Instead, we are invited into the dismal lives of olive harvesters who live off the Italian land and are brutally oppressed by the local mogul who fixes prices and keeps the people down. The Last Paradiso takes us to a place where families have lived together forever, where  feuds and secrets fester. Apart from that setup, it's hard to say what point this is supposed to make or why we are supposed to care. Ciccio is a thoughtless, fast-talking philanderer who betrays his wife and makes grand promises to the townspeople about rising up against financial oppression, but he actually does nothing except put the woman he loves in danger and make his wife unhappy. In short, he's a selfish, impulsive jerk.

When something bad happens to him, it's difficult to be surprised, and doubly difficult not to see that he brought his sordid fate on himself. The plot twist at the halfway mark clarifies nothing; in fact, it only adds to the fuzziness. Those looking to get lost in a gorgeous Italian romance should look elsewhere.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why Ciccio doesn't seem to care that his cheating hurts his wife in The Last Paradiso. When he tells her that what she considers a sin isn't a sin to him, how do you think the movie wants us to view him?

  • When a new character is introduced halfway through the action, how does he change the action going forward?

  • The story showcases a lot of hurtful behavior, from infidelity to rape to murder. Do you think the movie forgives some of the behavior but condemns other behavior? Do you think we do that in life? Why, or why not?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love romantic movies

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