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General: Major Films   no photo.
TitleNicholas' Gift (1997) (TV Film)
Alternative/Original Title
DisabilityGeneral Organ donation
CountryItaly/USA
Length90
GenreTrue story
Rating2
DirectorRobert Markowitz
CastJamie Lee Curtis Alan Bates Hallie Kate Eisenberg Gene Wexler Isabella Ferrari
NotesIn English An American family are on holiday in Italy when their car is attacked by bandits. Only when they stop at another accident do they discover that their 7 year old son who was sleeping next to his sister has been shot. The bullet is in lodged in his brain stem and he is too weak to operate on. After some days he is pronounced brain dead. Parallel to the American family's story we are shown scenes from an Italian whose son collapses and they are told he needs a new heart. A young Italian girl dies but her family won't let the hospital use her organs. The motivation for the film is that the American family decide to offer their son's organs. Their fate has already received a lot of publicity, the Italians feeling ashamed that American tourists should be shot at while driving along a normal road. When the offer of the organs is made it garners more publicity. Not only does the Italian boy get a new heart there is a big increase in Italians who will allow organ donation. I should say straightaway that this is a really tragic story. But I'm sure it would have been better as a half hour documentary. Alan Bates looks totally out of place. He was 62 at the time this film was made. Preceding the attack on their car their visits to tourist sites have a running dialogue about Hades, and heaven and various myths all of which sounds phoney. You can imagine the effect this tragedy had on the real family but you are left to imagine the film alone doesn't achieve this.

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