FILM / Readers' screening

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The Independent Culture
The 'stolen children' of this film's title are an 11-year-old girl who has been sold into prostitution by her mother, and her young brother. When the mother is arrested, a young carabiniere is charged with escorting the traumatised kids to a children's home - but the authorities want nothing to do with them, and he finds his job turning into a long odyssey all the length of Italy.

In some ways, Gianni Amelio's The Stolen Children is a road movie, as the trio travels from Milan down to the children's birthplace in Sicily; in other ways, it's a moving study of the developing relationship between the young carabiniere and his charges; in still others, it explores the continuing tensions in Italian society between north and south, and an uncaring system, in the neo-realist tradition of De Sica and Rossellini.

Amelio's name won't ring many bells with British film-goers, but he is a director of some distinction: in 1990, his last film, Open Doors, won four Felixes, including Best European Film of the Year. The Stolen Children took the Special Jury Prize in Cannes last year, and once again won Amelio the Best Film Felix.

The film opens on 19 November, but the Independent and Mayfair Entertainment invite readers to a free preview on Sunday 14 Nov, 11.00am for 11.30, at a central London cinema. To apply for tickets (two per reader), send an SAE to: Stolen Children Screening, Listings, The Independent, 40 City Rd, London EC1Y 2DB. This offer is strictly subject to availability.

(Photograph omitted)

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