In Northern Italy, WWI has turned into a bloody stalemate. Bogged down in their trenches on a barren highland, the men of an Italian infantry division have been given one objective: retake a commanding height from the enemy. Unfortunately, the tactical ingenuity of general Leone, the unpopular division commander, consists of supplementing frontal attacks against machine-guns with medieval fighting schemes. His dispirited troops must be prodded with ever harsher measures into storming the Austrian positions. As casualties mount, indignation spreads amongst the rank and file. Disturbed by the decisions of his superiors, lieutenant Sassu is progressively led to question the purpose of the war and to reconsider where his real duties lie. Written by
Eduardo Casais <email@example.com>
I am a bit of a war movie buff. I am also interested in military history, and W.W.I is one of my specialties, since I even got my PhD with a dissertation on W.W.I narratives. I also discussed Emilio Lussu's novel (Un anno sull'altipiano) Rosi's film is based on. Well, sometime when they make a film out of a novel you love, you may get disappointed. I wasn't. In many points Rosi wasn't faithful to the novel, but hey, that's what screenplays must be. The film is gorgeous nonetheless. What makes me rather sad is the horrible fact that there is no DVD version of this authentic masterpiece of world cinema, one of the most intelligent and impressive war films ever. This is a shame for Italy. Low-level Italian B-movies of the 70s have been made into DVDs, but this film hasn't. It's a real shame.
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