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|Directed by||Salvatore Samperi|
|Produced by||Jose Frade|
|Written by||Umberto Saba (book)|
|Music by||Carmelo Bernaola|
In Trieste, Austria-Hungary (Italy after the end of World War I) in 1911, Ernesto (Martin Halm) is a 17-year-old boy who lives with his widowed mother in the home of his violin-loving Jewish uncle and works in an office at a routine job. He espouses socialist views largely to cause his uncle distress. He discovers his homosexuality when he meets a stableboy (Michele Placido), who is not identified by name. They become infatuated with each other and have an intense sexual relationship, which develops against a realistic depiction of the social setting. Ernesto loses his job when his sexual behavior is discovered and reveals to his mother his same-sex relationship, which he continues to view as shameful. He is dishonest with his same-sex partner, and their relationship ends when Ernesto begins to visit a prostitute for sex.
Ernesto takes violin lessons where he meets 15-year-old Rachel and her twin brother Emilio, both depicted by the same actor (Lara Wendel). Both of the twins fall in love with Ernesto, who marries the sister, resolving his problems with his mother and uncle as well as his former employer. Having outgrown his years of spontaneity and exploration, Ernesto denies his sexual past when he encounters his first lover and refuses to recognize him.
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