Set in Sicily in 1854, the story tells of 19-year-old Maria (Angela Bettis), who has lived most of her life in a convent where she is about to take her vows. When the convent is evacuated due to a cholera epidemic, she is sent to her family's holiday villa where she discovers the joys of freedom and falls in love with Nino (Jonathan Schaech), a young law student. Ultimately, she chooses to return to the convent rather than follow her true feelings for Nino. The story is based on the novel by Giovanni Verga, but whereas the book ended with Maria dying of love, this version allows her to become a nun but turns her vows ceremony into a funeral rather than a wedding to God. Veteran filmmaker Franco ("ROMEO AND JULIET") Zeffirelli helms the love story.
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