When unskilled laborer Martin Eden meets Elena, the daughter of a wealthy industrial family, it’s love at first sight. The well-educated, refined young woman soon becomes an obsession for Martin who hopes that his dreams of becoming a writer will help him rise above his humble origins to be able to marry Elena. With determination and at the cost of great hardship, Martin sets out to get the education that his class has never allowed him to receive. Finding support in an older friend, left-wing intellectual Russ Brissenden, Martin soon gets involved in socialist circles, leading not only to political reawakening and destructive anxiety, but also to a conflict with Elena and her bourgeois world.
Martin Eden premiered this year in Venice, followed by TIFF, and it’s nominated for Best European Film, Best Director, Best Actor, and Screenwriter at the EFA 2020