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Bandits of Orgosolo (1961)
"Banditi a Orgosolo" (original title)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 208 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 2 critic

In the harsh granite mountains of the center of the island of Sardinia in the Mediterranean Sea, an old people live at the town of Orgòsolo. Between the rocks and the oak woods, shepherds ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Michele Cossu ...
Michele Cossu
Peppeddu Cuccu ...
Peppeddu Cossu
Vittorina Pisano ...
Mintonia
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Storyline

In the harsh granite mountains of the center of the island of Sardinia in the Mediterranean Sea, an old people live at the town of Orgòsolo. Between the rocks and the oak woods, shepherds attend their flock of sheep like their fore fathers did since prehistoric times. So do Michele and his younger brother Peppeddu that own a few sheep and make a harsh but honest living selling pecorino cheese. One day arrive three bandits on the run with machine guns and stolen pigs that take a rest at Michele's camp site. When the police arrives a day later, they run and kill a policemen in flight. Michele takes his sheep and escapes in the opposite direction and becomes a fugitive. Hunted by the police, while afraid to stand trial and leave his sheep poorly protected by his young brother, Michele decides to take Peppeddu and his flock over the mountains. Half way his sheep die of exhaustion and thirst, leaving the brothers without living so that nothing remains but returning to Orgòsolo. There they ... Written by SARDARAMAS

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Drama

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23 August 1962 (Hungary)  »

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Bandits of Orgosolo  »

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User Reviews

 
Innocent shepherd and his brother flee with their flock into the Sardinian hills
31 August 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Bandits of Orgosolo" was written, directed and photographed by Vittorio De Seta (who is not De Sica). Prior to this film, he had done documentaries for 7 years. What a magnificent first film this is! It's stunning in beauty of its black and white chiaroscuro. It captures the mountainous and rocky environment as well as a village at night beautifully. The non-professional actors are never awkward and they come across as real people.

The story is very suspenseful. It's a simple story. A shepherd who is making every effort to improve his material status has a flock of sheep in the hills that he tends with his younger brother. He's in debt for the sheep and there is no easy road in hills that are quite barren and even lack enough water. He and others like him know nothing of the state or police; they know of family and clan. Life being hard, it breeds banditry among men driven to it to survive. Two bandits pursued by police come upon his sheepfold. They have stolen some pigs. Everyone has rifles and getting rid of these two men can't be done easily. When the police arrive, the two men flee. Nevertheless, the police look upon the shepherd negatively and think him implicated. He, his brother and the sheep flee. Later they hear that a policeman has been shot and killed. This makes it worse for them and the police hunt them in force. They traverse the mountains. They make it back to their home village from time to time to console their mother and get supplies, but police are everywhere.

From such a simple story of pursuit comes a very engaging and beautifully done film that tells us much about the lives and psychologies of people trying to survive in a relatively hostile environment.

A well-done film like this, which is in the neorealism school, makes so many other movies seem like empty trifles. But people want entertainment from movies mostly, not serious treatments even if they are engaging (at least to me). This movie failed at the box office.

This film can be seen on youtube with English subtitles.


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