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3 film soundtracks with bandoneon

They aren't movies about tango, but bandoneon is the protagonist

The bandoneon is perhaps the quintessential melancholy instrument, as well as being the symbol of tango itself. Due to its unique sound, the bandoneon is often used in film to give the soundtrack a special touch.

But the bandoneon is not just melancholy and sadness: it is able to express a complex bouquet of emotions, even conflicting ones. It can express joy and sadness, contentment and the joy of living, or despair; it can convey charm and mystery or simplicity.

Of all the film soundtracks in which the bandoneon is present, I have chosen three in particular. These films were chosen precisely because they do not talk about tango, demonstrating the versatility of our beloved instrument.

1. The Postman / Il postino

  • Genre: drama
  • Year: 1994
  • Country: Italy/France
  • Director: Michael Radford

  • Music: Luis Bacalov
  • Bandoneon player: Héctor Ulises Passarella
Scena tratta dal film Il Postino con Massimo Troisi.

"The Postman" is a 1994 film directed by Michael Radford and starring Massimo Troisi and Philippe Noiret. It tells the story of Mario Ruoppolo, a postman from a small town on an island in southern Italy, who becomes friends with exiled poet Pablo Neruda.

Through their friendship, Mario learns to read and write and discovers the importance of poetry and art. Meanwhile, his love for Beatrice, the mayor's daughter, prompts him to fight for his independence and place in the world.

The film was well received by critics and won the Oscar for Best Original Score in 1996.

2. The Little Devil / Il Piccolo Diavolo

  • Genre: comedy
  • Year: 1988
  • Country: Italy
  • Regia: Roberto Benigni

  • Music: Evan Lurie
  • Bandoneon player: Alfredo Pedernera
Scena tratta dal film Il Piccolo Diavolo con Massimo Troisi.

"The Little Devil" is a 1988 film directed and starring Roberto Benigni and co-starring Walther Matthau.

It is a comedy centered around the histrionic Tuscan actor who plays the role of a "little devil," clumsily, naively, and curious when dealing with a grumpy exorcist and a complicated love life.

3. Greenery will Bloom Again / Torneranno i prati

  • Genre: drama
  • Year: 2014
  • Country: Italy
  • Director: Ermanno Olmi

  • Music: Paolo Fresu
  • Bandoneon player: Daniele di Bonaventura
Scena tratta dal film Torneranno i prati di Ermanno Olmi.

"Greenery will Bloom Again" is a 2014 film directed by Ermanno Olmi. It is a war film set during World War I and follows the story of a group of Italian soldiers fighting in the trenches. The soundtrack was composed by Paolo Fresu and the musical introduction is entrusted to the bandoneon of Daniele di Bonaventura.


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