Meaning of the Title


Other than the surroundings of sunflowers in the opening and a couple of scenes in the movie, does it have a special meaning as in perhaps a cultural significance or folklore history, etc?

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IMHO, As you'd know that a very large number of men were killed in this battle. The dead bodies were burried all over the place and over each body, a sunflower was planted. So one plant of Sunflower indicates one dead man and you can see thousands & thousands of them. By looking at the vastness of Sunflowers, one can imagine the magnitude of death toll of humanity. In my opinion, the sight of sunflower field is the most devastating & moving aspect of this movie.
BLESSING FOR ALL......

THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE IS NOT THE EVIDENCE OF ABSENCE.

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This is my view as well. The sunflowers and the vastness of the field were both tragic and hauntingly beautiful at the same time.

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One possible interpretation...

The sunflower is an unusual plant in that it follows the sun throughout the day, then closes at sunset. Some cultures see this as a symbol for foolish passion, blindly following something that one can never hold. In the same vein, it is sometimes the symbol for infatuation (usually happy, but in this case tragic).

This movie has very stong themes of obsessive infatuation & the inability to move beyond a one-time fiery passion. The whole film seems to trace an arc, like the sun through the sky, leading to eventual disappointment & loss at the end of that arc. The climactic scene with the blackout is both a figurative & literal portrayal of the light going out, i.e. sundown.

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David Traversa. The russian guy that speaks italian, when guiding her through the sunflower field explains that each sunflower represents a dead italian soldier on that same field during that last terrible winter weather, when everything was covered with snow and men were dying like flies. In a way, that endless sunflower field, covered with millions of flowers, shows us the tragedy of war and the countless lives lost in such stupid and senseless way (wars still going on today as we all know in several other countries. We'll never learn).

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yeah, David's right, the general meaning is pretty clear. The sunflowers (functioning as grave markers) represent the men tragically lost in war. Although Antonio did not literally die during the war, he did die in a metaphorical sense. (Indeed, he compares his own survival and amnesiac recovery to "rebirth" or "starting a new life" after the near-death experience of war.) Giovanna "lost" him as a result of this horrible ordeal, which makes him a "ghost"; and their romance a casualty of war.

So basically, the sunflower represents death (or rather life that once was). But the death of "what" exactly is probably open to multiple interpretations: The symbolic death of Antonio, the (virtual) death of their relationship, the death of Giovanna's spirit, et cetera. These are all things that at one time were (like sunflowers) "bright, sunny," and full of life - but now they are gone.

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David Traversa. Haymish28: You know, looking at all the hidden meanings atributed to the title and the opening scene of this movie (and in all other cases where people find "meaning", or "messages" on titles, scenes, books, paintings, etc., I always wonder if the author really thought anything at all about that. Could it be that the reason why, due to a dark passage in a movie or book, different people find it fabulous or terribly bad, according to each person's way of interpreting that passage, when in reality that movie or that book or that painting didn't know how to express an idea in a clear way? Could it be that in this case they just filmed that field of sunflowers just because it was there and it made pretty? (I know..., thinking in hidden meanings is prettier, right?).

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