Based on true events, Il Postino portrays the story of a shy postman who develops a transformative friendship with the exiled Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. On a tiny island off the Italian coast in 1953, the postman has been given the job of delivering mail to the town's new resident. He is astonished by the remarkable amount of mail from women that Neruda receives, and forges a relationship with the poet to learn the secret of his unlikely power over women. Through their friendship, Neruda not only helps the shy postman capture the town's most beautiful woman, he also inspires the postman to see himself and his quiet fishing village a in lyrical way.
Nominated for five Academy awards, the film is a graceful masterpiece with beautiful performances by Philippe Noiret as Neruda and Massimo Troisi as Mario Ruoppolo, the postman. The film was Troisi's dream project, and despite his failing heart he insisted on seeing it through and ultimately died the day production wrapped.
The film is based on the book Burning Patience by Antonio Skarmeta, which takes place in the early 1970s on Isla Negra, the tiny Chilean village where Neruda lived. The story follows the growth of a young postman whose only job is to deliver mail to Neruda, paralleling the changes in his inner life with the political upheavals in Chile.