Youth Without Youth

Synopsis: Christmas Eve, 1937, Piatra Neamt, Romania: Dominic Matei, a 70-year-old professor, contemplates suicide. The love of his life is dead, and he remains unable to complete his life's work on the origins of language. On April 24th 1938, Easter Sunday, he takes a train to Bucharest to kill himself, but suddenly he's struck by lightning. After a slow recovery, he miraculously grows younger and gains superhuman powers. WWII breaks out and Romania's fascist dictator Ion Antonescu cooperates with Adolf Hitler. Matei must escape to Switzerland, because Nazi scientists want to use his powers...Some years later, he meets a woman who has her own passage through a lightning storm. Not only does Dominic find love again, but her new abilities hold the key to his research...Coppola's adaptation of Mircea Eliade's surreal novella is a mysterious, romantic, melancholic and humorous journey to the outer limits of space, time and identity. Dreams become reality and reality feels like a dream...
Production: Sony Pictures Classics
  1 win & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
124 min

Sometimes I admit to

myself that it's 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.

What are you doing here,

Coane Dominic?

I have a migraine.

I thought a walk might help.

But in your pajamas

on Christmas Eve?

Don't catch cold. Look.

At the first opportunity,


What do you do

at the first opportunity?

At the first

opportunity, I have to- I have-

It's in the drawer.

I- I have saved-

I saved it for-

At the first opportunity,

I will open the blue envelope.

Not here in Piatra Neamt

where everyone knows me,

but somewhere far away.

Bucharest perhaps.

At Easter.



Special Easter

edition. Universal.

War clouds over Romania.

Oh, it's pouring.


He was struck by lightning.

Call an ambulance.

Call for some help.

Look, who knows

what sins he has committed

that God would strike him

on Easter.

They say whoever dies during

Easter goes straight to heaven.



I will wish you.

You know what I mean. I mean...

I will love you

until the day I die.

The eye seems intact,

but I don't know

if he is blind or not.

I don't even know

if he's conscious,

if he hears or

if he understands what he hears.

If you understand what I say,

squeeze my finger.

I'm Dr. Roman Stanciulescu.

I'm here to help you.


We wish to find out

your age.

For every 10 years,

squeeze my finger once.













Seventy years old.

Seventy. I would

have thought less.

Well, in this larval state,

it's hard to estimate.

I've never

met anyone like you.

You want to know

absolutely everything.

Laura, try to imagine

conceiving a passion

for something,

having one desire,

dedicating your life to it

and then failing.

I am 26.

I have no accomplishments,

I've made no discoveries.

I'm a failure.

Do you have a wife?


- No.



- Nephew.


- Do you want us

to inform your nephew

about your condition?


Let us know the first letter

of your name. Continue.

I am going to say

the alphabet.

A, B, C, D...


- D.

He doesn't live

in Bucharest.

He has only one relative,

a distant one,

and he has no wife.

Thank you.

He'll accept any test,

no matter how dangerous

or painful,

to verify whether

the optic nerve was damaged.

That's interesting.

How old did you say he was?


He's hiding his age.

He's a young man

in the prime of his life.

I didn't come here...

I came here for an education.

- Come.

What did you think

about the lecture?

Professor Matei

is getting senile.

He told us the same thing

three or four times.

I didn't

notice. I was asleep.

Let's go get

something to eat.

Is it true?

Failure, success.

Such extremes, Dominic.

You yourself taught me

about Chandrakirti.

The concept of tetralemma logic,

the four possibilities.

What you say is so,

or it is not so,

it's also so

and not so combined, heh,

or it's neither so

nor not so combined.

You know,

I've never told you this,

but Dr. Chavannes' lecture

in Paris...

I waited to see him.

I was hoping that he would

accept me as a student.

And he told me that if I didn't

master Chinese, Sanskrit,

Tibetan and Japanese,

I would never become

a great Oriental list.

But didn't you tell him

you wanted to study

only the Chinese language?

I did.

I told him that

I'd been studying Chinese

for six months,

six hours a day.

He stepped up

to the blackboard.

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Francis Ford Coppola

Francis Ford Coppola is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. He was part of the New Hollywood wave of filmmaking. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Youth Without Youth" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 26 Nov. 2020. <>.

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