Synopsis by Mark Deming
Noted Austrian actor Klaus-Maria Brandauer stepped into the director's chair for this drama about the rise of fascism in Europe, based on a story by Thomas Mann. In the 1920s, Bernhard Fuhrmann (Julian Sands), a German author and outspoken leftist, takes his family to Torre di Venere, a resort community in Italy, where they are not welcomed warmly by all of the residents, especially after an incident in which Fuhrmann's daughter is caught swimming nude by the seashore. While several of the guests at the hotel where the Fuhrmanns are staying voice their opposition to the family's presence, the concierge defends their right to stay there -- until she is killed and replaced by a member of the local fascist brigade. As the village is enveloped in chaos, a magician named Cipola (Brandauer) appears, who has a profound effect on the lives of those around him. Mario und der Zauberer was shown in competition at the 1994 Moscow Film Festival.
community, family, Fascism, German [nationality], Italy, Leftist, magician [performer], resort, writer