What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that even though Murmur of the Heart is a coming-of-age masterpiece and a classic of French cinema, it's definitely not for kids. Themes of sexual awakening run throughout -- prostitution, inappropriate touching from a priest, and incest all come into play. Teens are shown shoplifting, panhandling under false pretenses, and getting drunk on wine. Parents are lax, and other authority figures are hypocritical. The movie takes a generally light approach to subjects that some might feel are too taboo for this treatment -- most obviously, incest. But for mature fans of foreign coming-of-age films like Truffaut's The 400 Blows and Fellini's Amarcord, Murmur of the Heart deserves a spot as one of the best films working within the parameters of this oft-covered film genre.
- Families can talk about coming-of-age movies. How does Murmur of the Heart compare to other coming-of-age films?
- What do you think about the way the movie handles sexuality? Does it seem appropriate to the movie's time and place, or exaggerated?
- What purpose does the background music -- bebop jazz by Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie -- serve in terms of setting the movie's mood and spirit?