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The Best of Youth

For those who missed it during its too-brief run in Stateside theaters last year, the arrival of "The Best of Youth" on DVD is nothing less than cause for celebration. Marco Tullio Giordana's generous epic was originally conceived as a TV miniseries, and it feels as snug and intimate on the small screen as it was sweepingly immersive in theaters.

For those who missed it during its too-brief run in Stateside theaters last year, the arrival of “The Best of Youth” on DVD is nothing less than cause for celebration. Winner of the Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes in 2003, Marco Tullio Giordana’s generous epic — which gracefully compacts 40 years of family drama and tumultuous Italian history into six absorbing hours — was originally conceived as a TV miniseries, and it feels as snug and intimate on the small screen as it was sweepingly immersive in theaters.

“Youth” spans three generations in the lives of the Carati family, circling two very different brothers (Luigi Lo Cascio and Alessio Boni) in a narrative feast that marries the sociopolitical scope of a Visconti epic to the compulsive watchability of a “24” marathon. The two-disc set is strictly no-frills, but that the film can be seen at all — chapter by chapter, in two three-hour chunks or in its entirety — is bonus enough.

The Best of Youth

Buena Vista Home Entertainment; $29.99

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