As the Benedetti family drives to Tuscany to visit an aging family member, a father good-naturedly regales his son and daughter with the story of a 200-year-old family curse: During Napoleon’s reign, a peasant girl named Elisabetta Benedetti (Ranzi) falls for Jean (Vartan), a French soldier guarding a cache of gold. While the couple makes love in the woods, Elisabetta’s brother (Bigagli) steals the chest. As a result of the theft, Jean goes before the firing squad and the Benedettis become wealthy landowners, yet now a curse has descended on their house that will affect all future generations...
Lushly photographed, epic in scope, and briskly paced, “Fiorile” tells the tragic story of the Benedettis with a series of picaresque episodes spanning two centuries that involve ill-fated lovers, squabbling brothers and sisters, war and resistance, and the evil spread by the origins of the family fortune. Ranzi, Vartan, and Bigagli all play dual roles, which provide continuity to this fable of ambition, guilt, power, and vengeance, dating from the Napoleonic wars to the present day. Nicola Piovani’s poignant score adds a fine counterpoint to Giuseppe Lanci’s magnificent shots of the Tuscan landscape.