Martin Eden (2019)

  • Drama
  • 2h 7m

Bold and dazzling, acclaimed writer/director Pietro Marcello’s multi award-winning drama Martin Eden provocatively transports Jack London’s 1909 novel about a self-taught and outspoken writer out of the American West and into a pivotal moment in Italy’s pre-war history.

Thirty-something sailor Martin Eden (remarkable newcomer Luca Marinelli) is inspired to remake himself as a novelist, following a chance encounter with the sophisticated, wealthy Elena (the luminous Jessica Cressy). She immediately becomes not only the object of his passionate affections, but also a symbol of the status Martin aspires to achieve. Pursuing his newfound social and literary obsessions, Martin quickly abandons his friends and working-class roots, but eventually undergoes a political awakening that triggers yet another change in him.

A passionate and enthralling cinematic achievement in the tradition of Rossellini and Visconti, Pietro Marcello’s enveloping and superbly mounted fable interweaves historical footage with an extraordinary production design of his own. The film’s ideas are universal and timeless: the hypocrisy of class, the disillusionment of ideologies, the limits of romanticism and realism, and the question of what it means ultimately, to be an individual.


Pietro Marcello


Italian with English subtitles