Synopsis by Nicole Gagne
This historical drama is the first film from the celebrated Italian writer/director Alberto Lattuada. Giacomo, a philosophy professor (and the film's eponymous idealist), returns from battle in the campaigns of Garibaldi and rejoins his family. After his elderly father passes away, he gives up on his plan to marry his beloved Celstina and goes to work for an old count, staying in his castle, which is also the home of Celstina. There, she is raped by the count's dissolute son. His mother, the countess, takes Celstina away to the city in hope of preventing a scandal, but she eludes the noblewoman and goes off to rejoin Giacomo, only to be mortally injured in a sudden storm.