Amazon Takes U.S., U.K. Rights to Final Taviani Brothers Film (EXCLUSIVE)

Amazon Studios has acquired North American, U.K., and Indian rights to “Rainbow – A Private Affair,” the last work co-directed by Italy’s revered Taviani brothers.

Amazon’s purchase from Paris-based Pyramide Intl. of those streaming rights follows Vittorio Taviani’s death in May, at 88, and comes as the film goes on theatrical release via Pyramide in France. The directing duo’s surviving member, Paolo Taviani, who is 86, told the French newspaper Le Monde last week that he would keep working even without his brother, with whom he made movies all his life, “until my devastated country rises from its ruins,” an apparent reference to Italy under its new populist government.

“Rainbow – A Private Affair,” which launched last year from Toronto, is an adaptation of a short novel written by Italian author Beppe Fenoglio and set during Italy’s mid-1940s civil war, when partisans and fascists engaged in battles of attrition. The story involves a love triangle and unfolds in the misty Langhe hills of Piedmont.

Several critics in France have praised the drama. But Variety’s Jay Weissberg called it “an artificial and dully old-fashioned literary adaptation.”

An Italy-France co-production co-financed by Italy’s Rai Cinema and France’s Les Film’s d’Ici, “Rainbow – A Private Affair” is toplined by A-list Italian actors Luca Marinelli (“They Call Me Jeeg”), Lorenzo Richelmy (“Marco Polo”), and Valentina Belle (“Medici: Masters of Florence”).

Pyramide had previously sold theatrical rights to other territories including China (Binci Media), Turkey (Filmarti), Brazil (Supo Mungam), Austria (Trigon Film), and Greece (Weird Wave). 

The Taviani brothers came to prominence in the 1970s thanks to works that blended neo-realism with more modern storytelling, such as “Padre Padrone,” which won the 1977 Cannes Palme d’Or, World War II drama “The Night of the Shooting Stars” (1982), and “Kaos” (1984), which is based on works by Luigi Pirandello.

More recently the brothers won the Berlin Golden Bear, in 2012, with “Caesar Must Die,” about high-security inmates who act Shakespeare.

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