This focus of this unassuming war movie is the Italian youth whose loyalties are divided in the wake of the political turmoil that has fomented World War II. In particular, three provincial teens gravitate away from their close circle of friends to become thoroughly disillusioned by the present state of society. One young man joins the underground to fight fascism, while his sister falls in love with a veteran Italian pilot from the Spanish Civil War. After a heartbreaking series of events, she returns to the arms of the man who has always loved her, a childhood sweetheart. He is a young rebel who becomes alienated from his family and friends when he also takes a stand against the fascist regime. Flashbacks are used to give historical perspectives for the characters, a technique that occasionally leads to viewer confusion.
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