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I’m amazed that The Best of Youth (La meglio gioventù – dir Marco Tullio Giordano, Italy 2003, 358 minutes) is not better known or more widely available on DVD. It’s quite simply the best film I’ve ever seen. I’m not going to attempt to synopsise since it is truly epic in every way imaginable. There is a good summary here for those who are curious, but for those lucky enough to see the film for the first time it is best simply to allow it to develop in all its mesmerising glory. The running time is certainly long (it was originally a TV mini-series) yet when the final credits roll, there can be no doubt that emotional investment is amply rewarded. Following two brothers from their student days in the 1960s to almost the present day, it is the epic as seen through the personal. We see political and social revolution unfurl through the lives of one family, all brought together in a vision of enormous warmth and feeling. And the music is great.

If you can track it down, enjoy.