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Martin Eden

classified 15 S

Please note: This was screened in July 2021

Pietro Marcello
Carlo Cecchi, Luca Marinelli, Marco Leonardi, Jessica Cressy, Carmen Pommella, Vincenzo Nemolato
129 mins, Subtitled, 2020, Italy France Germany
Primary language

Acclaimed writer/director Pietro Marcello (Lost and Beautiful) returns with a bold and dazzling Italian adaptation of Jack London’s autobiographical novel about a self-taught and outspoken working-class writer who climbs the ranks of society.

Martin Eden is the kaleidoscopic, brilliantly rendered account of one man’s spiritual, philosophical, artistic and political journey through life and Italian society, as he strives to discover his sense of identity. A tough sailor, Martin’s chance introduction to the upper echelons of middle-class life and a meeting with a beautiful young woman inspire him, against all odds, to teach himself to become a writer. He proves himself quickly, but grapples with social politics when his individual success is in conflict with his humble origins and the proletariat’s cause.

This bold adaptation of London’s novel, transposed from the US to Naples, mixes drama with archive footage to present the film's universal ideas about class, the disillusionment of ideologies, the limits of romanticism and ultimately, what it means to be an individual.