After saving Arturo, a young scion of the industrial middle class, from a beating, the sailor Martin Eden is invited to the boy’s family home. Here he meets Elena, Arturo’s beautiful sister, and falls in love with her at first sight. The cultured and refined young woman becomes not only the object of Martin’s affections but also a symbol of the social status he aspires to achieve. At the cost of enormous efforts and overcoming the obstacles represented by his humble origin, Martin pursues the dream of becoming a writer. Under the influence of the elderly intellectual Russ Brissenden, he gets involved in socialist circles, bringing him into conflict with Elena and her bourgeois world.

Curator’s sight:

“Well, what do you, the latest of the ephemera, want with fame?” An abstracted Naples instead of Oakland. The changing atmospheres of Italy sometime between the Second World War and the 1980s, in place of the United States of the early twentieth century. Based on the highly autobiographical novel of the same name by Jack London, this cinematic adaptation altered by skilful work on grafted archival materials in the flux of moving images, restores intact the desperate anger and ambiguity of the protagonist, the sharp and painful portrait of the still strongly current contradictions of American society at the end of the century.


Luca Marinelli, Jessica Cressy, Vincenzo Nemolato, Marco Leonardi, Denise Sardisco, Carmen Pommella, Carlo Cecchi


Pietro Marcello


Francesco Di Giacomo, Alessandro Abate


Maurizio Braucci, Pietro Marcello


Marco Messina, Sasha Ricci


Avventurosa, IBC Movie, Shellac Sud, Match Factory Productions, RAI Cinema