In Tuscan lore, the evening of August 10th is la notte di san lorenzo (the night of the shooting stars). Each of these stars is believed to grant one wish. In this celebrated film by Italy's Taviani brothers, a woman asks for the words to tell her son about that same night during the last days of World War II. The Nazis occupied Italy and the fascists had mined her small Tuscan village of San Martino. Skeptical of the fascists' promise that all peasants will be safe in San Martino's cathedral, a group of villagers opt to leave and search for the Italian partisans and advancing American forces. Among those to depart is the woman, then only six years old. La Notte di San Lorenzo is the story of the villagers' remarkable exodus, the fate of those left behind, and the partisan struggle against fascism -- lyrically intertwined with their thoughts, loves, fears, and memories, as well as the fantasies of a young girl experiencing the tragedy she perceives to be her greatest adventure.
by Aubry Anne D'Arminio synopsis