Gran Bollito unravels secrets of a pre-war Italian condominium with the skill of a cartoon magician. It is as though the sentimental treasures in Rimbaud’s ‘Le Buffet’ are brought back to life. The faded laces, the locks of hair, the dried flowers: they are all given a second chance. However, the glamour and camaraderie conceal some dark dealings.

Shelley Winters plays Lea, as she begins to piece her life together following a spate in a sanatorium. She enthuses all around her, but her priority is to protect her son: mostly from death. Her methods are unconventional, her execution flawless.

The story, based Leonarda Ciancuilli, culminates in a cryptic juxtaposition of the two follies: Lea’s, with all its bizarre twists, emerging as less absurd than the brewing war.