Synopsis by Mark Deming
A teenage girl growing up in early Sixties finds an unusual way to impress a boy and show up her big brother in this coming-of-age story from Italy. Luciana (Miriana Raschilla) was just a baby when her father died, leaving her mother (Claudia Pandolfi) to look after the family. But Luciana has often heard stories of her father's strong and selfless devotion to the Italian Communist party, and they have had a strong impact on her and her older brother Arturo (Pietro del Giudice). When she was nine, Luciana attempted to flee her first communion in a precocious effort to reject the Catholic opiate of the people, and now that she's fifteen she's grown only more determined to embrace the wisdom of the party. Luciana is a regular visitor at the Federation of Young Communists headquarters, as is her brother, and as they follow the progress of the Soviet Union's space program, Arturo declares his ambition to someday become a cosmonaut. Not to be outdone, Luciana starts her own personal space race, announcing that she intends to beat her brother into outer space and become the first woman in orbit. But it's hard to say how much of this is a genuine ambition, and how much is intended to impress Vittorio (Michelangelo Ciminale), the handsome leader of the Young Communists. Cosmonauta (aka Cosmonaut) was the first feature film from director Susanna Nicchiarelli.