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Youth Without Youth
Youth Without YouthSometimes I admit to myself that it is
  possible I will never be able to finish my
  life’s work. My one and only book. And
  that, in the end, without her there will be
  nothing and I will die alone
— Tim Roth
  as Dominic Matei, in Youth Without

IF YOU DON'T DO STRANGE AND THOUGHT-PROVOKING, Youth Without Youth may not be for you. But it is a beautiful film with wonderful scenery of India, Romania, Malta and Switzerland and is part romance, part psychological thriller and part science fiction. With a dose of history and reincarnation thrown in.

Pathé Distribution Ltd presents Francis Ford Coppola's mysterious drama Youth Without Youth, coming to DVD. Based on the novella of the same name by Romanian author Mircea Eliade, the film is the first directed by Academy Award-winning Coppola (The Godfather Trilogy) since The Rainmaker in 1997.

The film opens in the late 1930s, with war casting its shadow over an uncertain Romania, and stars Tim Roth (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Rob Roy) as 70-year-old Dominic Matei,
a professor of linguistics who had become so obsessed with researching and writing a book that he had driven away his fiancé, Laura (Alexandra Maria Lara), because of his inability to share the burden of research with her. It now seemed that the book would remain unfinished. Laura had married someone else and a year later had died in childbirth.

While crossing the street, Dominic survives a direct lightning strike that leaves him in hospital, bandaged from head to foot and unable to speak or to see. He makes an astounding recovery and when his bandages are removed the doctors are stunned to find that he has the physical appearance of a man thirty years younger.

Furthermore, it appears that the electricity that exploded above him causing the electrical discharge had made possible a new personality emergence — a double.

So begins Dominic's conversations with himself — his alter ego — cleverly shot as if he is talking to his image in the mirror. The image tells him of intermediary beings such as arch-angels and seraphim — intermediary between consciousness and unconsciousness but also between nature and man; man and The Divine. He is exploring his old passions of Philosophy and Religion.

He also has some assignations with the woman next door in room 6 (Alexandra Pirici), who is apparently passing on information gleaned from their meetings to the Nazis.

A clever man and a brilliant linguist, Dominic cannot hope to keep his physical rejuvenation secret and before long it is attracting the attention of Nazi scientists — including the cruel and determined Josef Rudolf (André M Hennicke), whose experiments have led him to believe that electrocution by a current of at least a million volts could produce a radical mutation of the human species — and Adolf Hitler himself.

Professor Stanciulescu (Bruno Ganz) helps Dominic with a new identity and he goes on the run into Switzerland. Dominic lives in the shadows and he throws himself into completing his research into the origins of human language, trying to keep one step ahead of Nazi spies. While walking in the mountains he meets the lovely Veronica, who bears more than
a passing resemblance to Laura. Following an accident, Veronica begins to believe she is Rupini, who lived in North Eastern India fourteen centuries ago and can only speak Sanskrit.

Dominic's book, documenting the origin of language and human consciousness, can now have the perfect researcher, but it soon becomes apparent that, by allowing Veronica to regress, Dominic is placing her in grave danger.

Beautifully crafted, with stunning cinematography, Youth Without Youth marks the return of a master filmmaker in top form. Dubbed 'The Godfather', after his world famous trilogy, Francis Ford Coppola does something altogether different here as he fuses the classical approach of his early years with today's contemporary digital universe.

Produced, written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, Youth Without Youth is fascinating, with atmospheric music courtesy of Osvaldo Golijov. Some nudity, and one disturbing image.

With special features that includes The Make-Up of Youth Without Youth and The Music of Youth Without Youth, this latest offering from the legendary director is available to own on DVD from 21 April (2008).

Running Time: 119 minutes | Cert: 15 | Price: £19.99.

Special Features: The Make-up of Youth Without Youth | The Music of Youth Without Youth | Production Photography Gallery | Original Theatrical Trailer.