Captain Corelli's Mandolin

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Captain Corelli's Mandolin is a 2001 film directed by John Madden and based on the novel of the same name by Louis de Bernieres. It stars Nicolas Cage and Penelope Cruz.

The bucolic beauty of Greece's Ionian islands has been invaded by Italy, bringing a large Italian garrison and a few Germans to the tranquil island of Cephallonia, which immediately surrenders. Captain Antonio Corelli, a Greek-speaking officer of the infantry division 'Acqui' with an irrepressibly jovial personality and a passion for the mandolin, and who trains his battery of men - who have never fired a shot - in choral singing, initially alienates a number of the villagers, including Pelagia. The daughter of the village doctor, Pelagia is an educated and strong-willed woman, and while at first offended by the Italian soldier's behaviour, she slowly warms to his certain charm as they are forced to share her father's home when the doctor agrees to put him up in exchange for medical supplies.

When Pelagia's fiance, Mandras, a local fisherman, heads off to war on the mainland, the friendship between Antonio and Pelagia grows. Her beauty and intelligence have captured his heart and his fondness for the village's vibrant community causes him to question his reasons for fighting. Antonio and his battery of musical troops become part of the lives of the villagers, but the moment is fleeting. As the war grows closer, Antonio and Pelagia are forced to choose between their allegiances and the love they feel for one another - a love which must overcome tremendous odds, and endure the inevitable sacrifice which accompanies devotion.

The Italian government surrenders to the Allies, and the Italian troops happily prepare to go home. However, their erstwhile allies the Germans insist on disarming the Italians, intemperately and violently. The Greeks are exposed to the brutal incoming Germans, and arrange with the Italians to use their arms in a brief and futile resistance. For this, the German High Command has thousands of the Italian troops shot as traitors. Corelli survives when one of his soldiers throws himself across him, and Mandras takes him to Pelagia and the doctor to recover, and then to a boat to escape the island.

Pelagia discovers that Mandras did not reply to her letters because he is illiterate, and they part. In 1947, Pelagia receives a parcel from Italy containing a record of the tune Corelli wrote for her, but no note. An earthquake destroys much of the village and the doctor's house, but island life continues, and eventually Corelli returns to Pelagia.

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