Nuovo Olimpo is an Italian romantic film centered around the impossible love story of Pietro and Enea. On November 1, 1978, Pietro and Enea crossed paths for the first time. Enea was working on a film set, and Pietro was part of a curious crowd. Their eyes caught, but they did not interact. Pietro was pleasantly surprised to find Enea at the vintage film theater, Nuovo Olimpo. While the guy at the ticket counter made a move on Pietro, his eyes were fixed on Enea. They first interacted in the backdoor hallway, which was the secret meeting ground for gay men. Pietro made it clear that he was not looking for a quick hookup; he wanted to know Enea, and they agreed to meet a second time. That was the beginning of Pietro and Enea’s tragic love story, and Nuovo Olimpo bore witness to it.
Why did Pietro and Enea go their separate ways?
After interacting for the first time, both Enea and Pietro could not take their minds off each other. Enea was not afraid of exploring his sexuality, and it was not the first time that he walked into the hallway with someone, but Pietro was special. There was an immediate connection between the two, even though they were not alike. Enea was a film student hoping to make it big in the film industry, and Pietro was a medical student who arrived in Rome to look after his mother during her surgery. They were both thrilled to see each other the second time, and Enea proposed that they meet at his friend’s grandmother’s locked-up house. Pietro was hesitant at first, but when he read the message Enea wrote on the map, he was convinced that the feeling was mutual. It was the first time Pietro was getting to know a man this close, and he was afraid of facing his truth. But with Enea, he felt confident, and that was why they met again at the promised location. While the city was busy with its mundane chores, the two lovers united, and they could not get enough of each other. The entire day would remain etched in both Pietro and Enea’s minds; after all, that was the only time they spent together.
Enea’s best friend, Alice, tried to convince him to join them in the student protest, but he could not skip meeting Pietro again. He was back at Nuovo Olimpo, and while Alice and Enea argued, Titti suggested Enea take Pietro along to the protest. Enea was glad to know that Pietro had already arrived and was waiting for him. He had to reject Alice’s suggestion, and he entered the movie hall to meet Pietro once again. Pietro had booked a table for them at a restaurant, and he hoped they could spend some time together like an ordinary couple. But before their date, Pietro had to visit his mother at the hospital, and the only reason he came to the movie hall was to discuss his plan in person with Enea. He left Nuovo Olimpo early, and in the meantime, the clash between the student protestors and the police began. Pietro got stuck in the chaos and met with an accident that resulted in a broken arm. Enea rushed out of the movie theater to find Pietro, but he could not spot him in the crowd. That was the last time Enea and Pietro met, and what followed were years of missed opportunities.
How did Enea’s film impact Pietro?
Ten years after they met, Enea made a film about their brief yet intense romance. Due to its explicit nature, the film was barred from screening, and that resulted in massive protests. By the time the film was released, it had become an instant success. Pietro was in the audience, and he did not expect the film to be about him and Enea. Pietro was now a doctor, and he was married to a woman. It was evident that he never shared his past with her, and he treated his interaction with Enea as insignificant. The film left him unsettled, and his wife, Giulia, could sense something was wrong. Pietro distracted her, but that did not stop Giulia from understanding that there was a past secret that Pietro was hiding from her. Even though they were together, there was no romance between them. Pietro tried to make contact with Enea, and he revisited the old movie hall, which was converted into an adult theater. The staff had changed, and so had the people who visited the establishment. Pietro walked into the hallway and came across Enea’s old friend, Molotov. However, the interaction did not lead to anything fruitful, and Pietro gave up on contacting Enea once again. Meanwhile, Alice introduced Enea to Antonio, and even though the spark was not instant, as was in Pietro’s case, Enea gradually took an interest in Antonio. The two were married in 1993, but a fraction of Enea was still hopeful about stumbling into Pietro. Fate brought them close, yet they did not cross paths.
After becoming an established director, Enea lost touch with Titti, and he was pleasantly surprised to see her at the supermarket. He regretted not staying in contact with her, but Titti held no bitter feelings. She knew that Enea had only love for her, and she celebrated his every win from afar. Upon meeting Titti, Enea learned that after the protest, Pietro had returned to the movie theater in the hopes of meeting Enea. He wrote a letter for him and handed it to Titti, but Enea never returned to Nuovo Olimpo. The phone number attached to the letter was no longer valid, and Enea regretted his past decisions.
Did Pietro and Enea end up together?
Antonio supported Enea in all of his whims and sadness. He was a rock-solid partner and a production manager. Even though there were days when Antonio could not comprehend Enea’s emotions entirely, he tried to compensate simply with his presence. Pietro secretly watched Enea talk about his loving husband in an interview. Enea had always been open about his sexuality, and his films were mostly centered around his experiences. Maybe deep down, Pietro was a little envious of how bravely Enea was living his truth while he was still hiding away. His situation affected his and Giulia’s marriage, with her wanting to raise a family and him being mostly absent.
Years passed, and it was 2015; Enea was still directing films, and Antonio looked into the nitty-gritty details. Enea wanted to simulate an explosion, and a plunder was used to create the impact. As Enea instructed for the plunder to be raised a little further, the string came loose, and the glass powder got into his eyes. In the end, Enea was admitted to the same hospital where Pietro worked. Pietro decided to conduct the surgery when he learned that the patient was his ex-lover. The surgery was a success, and even though it was not the reunion he perhaps imagined, he was glad that he could help Enea. Pietro was taken aback when he interacted with Enea’s worried husband. He realized that Antonio truly cared about Enea’s well-being, and it would be better if he stayed away from him. Through their limited conversations, Enea figured out that he knew the doctor from somewhere. Pietro never admitted the truth, and by the time Enea completely recovered, he refused to meet him in person. Giulia insisted on inviting Enea, and Pietro had no choice but to face reality. At the end of Nuovo Olimpo, Enea and Pietro finally met after 37 years. Quite unexpectedly, there was no grand profession of love; instead, there were acknowledging nods and secret glances shared during dinner.
Pietro could fool the world but not his wife, and at the end of Nuovo Olimpo, it was Giulia who asked him to chase his love instead of giving into more pretense. Pietro was hesitant at first, but he finally gave in to his desire to rekindle the love that he and Enea once shared. He went after Enea and caught up with him. But unfortunately, it was not the happy ending that maybe even they expected for themselves. Pietro was glad that they still remembered each other, unaware of how desperately Enea had searched for him over the years. All Pietro wanted from Enea was for him to think about him and the love they shared whenever he could. It was in their memories that they could keep their love alive since they had both moved on in their lives. Enea could not leave Antonio all of a sudden for an old flame he once fell passionately in love with, and neither could Pietro abandon his present and come out of the closet and drastically change his life. Maybe deep down, they wanted to do so, but it was too impractical for them to even consider. It was simply wishful thinking, and reality caught up with them. Nuovo Olimpo‘s ending suggests what could have been had Enea and Pietro gone to the restaurant as they had planned. It did not guarantee their future together, but it would have at least been another memory that they could have cherished for a lifetime.