Screencap of the Taviani Brothers, Vittorio (Left) and Paolo (Right), April 16, 2018 – Youtube/DP/30: The Oral History Of Hollywood
CAIRO – 17 April 2018: Celebrated Italian director Vittorio Taviani has passed away at the age of 88 on Sunday, April 15.
Winner of prestigious awards such as the Palme D'Or in 1977 and the Golden Bear in 2012, Taviani formed a directorial duo with his brother, Paolo Taviani.
Together, the Taviani Brothers produced numerous celebrated Italian cinematic classics, alternating scenes to direct and producing masterpieces in unison. According to the Guardian, Italy's President Sergio Mattarella remarked that Taviani's death marked "a great loss for Italian cinema and culture, which are losing an undeniable and beloved protagonist.” Their films were known for telling beautiful and realistic stories in the style of Italian neo-realism.
Born in Tuscany on 1929, Vittorio originally studied law at the University of Pisa alongside his brother, and took an interest in Cinema after viewing director Roberto Rossellini's 1946 film "Paisan".
With the spark of passion ignited, Taviani and his brother Paolo began directing various short films, documentaries and plays together, eventually working up to their first feature film in 1962, "A Man for the Burning", alongside their early collaborator Valentino Orsini. This drama focused on the Mafia's operations in Sicily, and the attempts by a man named Salvatore (Gian Maria Volonte) to rally the farmers and workers of the island into fighting back.
The duo would produce one last film with Orsini in 1967, titled "The Subversives", brother hitting it on their own. By 1977, the Taviani Brothers had released their first major success, earning them the Palme D'Or Award; "Padre Padrone (Father and Master)", which told the true story of linguist Gavino Ledda, a Sardinian Shepherd's son who managed to escape his poor, brutal life through slowly educating himself from illiteracy, even despite the opposition from his violently abusive father.
Other notable films from their career include "La notte di San Lorenzo" (Night of the Shooting Stars) in 1982, which followed a mother telling her child memories of a wartime night, where her village fled their homes from the Nazis as stars fell from the sky.
The brothers would continue producing films even well into their 80s; in 2012, they were awarded the Berlin Film Festival's "Golden Bear" award for the documentary "Caesar Must Die", which followed a group of inmates at an Italian prison as they prepared to perform a play.
Vitarro's final film was "Rainbow: A Private Affair", released in 2017. Due to his illness, Vitarro could not direct the movie, serving only as writer and producer while Paolo directed it by himself. According to the Guardian, so close were these brothers that Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni referred to them separately as "Paolovittorio".