Award-Winning Italian Filmmaker Dies at 92

Written by Camilla Jessen

Mar.01 - 2024 10:45 AM CET

Photo: Denis Makarenko /
Photo: Denis Makarenko /
Paolo Taviani, celebrated Italian director known for his award-winning films created with his brother Vittorio, has passed away at 92.

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Paolo Taviani, an iconic Italian director known for his collaboration with his brother Vittorio, has passed away at the age of 92. The brothers won acclaim for their film “Padre Padrone,” which took home the prestigious Cannes Palme d’Or in 1977.

Italian media reported that Taviani died on Thursday in a Rome clinic after a brief illness. Rome Mayor Roberto Gualtieri honored him by sharing on X, “Paolo Taviani, a great maestro of Italian cinema, leaves us."

The Taviani brothers, Paolo being the elder, made their mark in the 1970s with their unique blend of neo-realism and contemporary storytelling. Their notable works include “The Night of the Shooting Stars” and “Kaos,” an adaptation of Luigi Pirandello’s works.

Growing up in Tuscany and later moving to Pisa, the brothers were inspired to pursue filmmaking after watching Roberto Rossellini’s “Paisà.” This film, they said, opened their eyes to the power of cinema to reveal deeper truths, propelling them into their careers as directors.

Winning the Palme d’Or, especially from Rossellini, was described by them as completing a "splendid luminous circle." Their success continued with the Berlin Golden Bear win in 2012 for “Caesar Must Die,” a unique film about inmates performing Shakespeare. They also produced “Wondrous Boccaccio” and “Una Questione Privata.”

Following Vittorio’s death in 2018, Paolo continued to direct, with “Leonora Addio” being his latest work, presented at the Berlinale in 2022. He was also preparing to start shooting a new pandemic-themed film titled “Canto Delle Meduse.”

Paolo leaves behind his wife Lina Nerli Taviani and children Ermanno and Valentina. His and his brother’s cinematic legacy is currently being celebrated in the U.K. with a retrospective at BFI Southbank in London, titled “Magical Realism — The Film Fables of the Taviani Brothers.”

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