A conscientious factory worker gets his finger cut off by a machine. Although the physical handicap is not serious, the accident causes him to become more involved in political and revolutionary groups.
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Lulù is a real hard worker. For this reason he is loved by the masters and hated by his own colleagues. The unions decide agitations against the masters. Lulù doesn't agree till he cuts, by accident, one of his own fingers. Now, after he understood the worker's conditions, he agrees the unions and participates to the strike. He immediately is fired and, not only is abandoned by his lover, but also by the other workers. But the fights of the unions allow him under a new legislation to be hired again. At this point his mind starts giving collapse signs... Written by
Elio Petri's "La classe operaia va in paradiso" shows a very subtle cameo of Ennio Morricone, who also composed the original score of this film, awarded with a Palme d'or in the 1972 Cannes Film Festival. The Italian Maestro appears in close up for almost one minute as the anonymous-and obviously uncredited-blue collar who actions the cart, with both hands up and down, at the end of the assembly line in the factory. His repeated gesture immediately activates the "mechanical" music announcing the end titles. See more »
I'm gonna speak now. I don't know how to call you: gentlemen, workers, friends, comrades... I'm gonna speak on the mic. The students out there, say that when we enter is dark and when we exit is dark another time. What kind of life is it? This is routing, but since we are here, why don't we do twice task-work, working in Sundays too, we can enter in the night, with our children and our women. The children works there. And our women put the food in our mouth, so we can work twice, keep running ...
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The efficient and productive Lulu Massa (Gian Maria Volontè) is an exemplary and beloved worker for his employers and hated by his coworkers. During a period of turbulence in the factory between the union and the radical students against the owners, Lulu accidentally loses one of his fingers. He changes his behavior and joins the movement of the students that wants to stop the factory with a strike as part of the fight of classes while the union wants a partial strike to reclaim benefits to the working class. When Lulu is fired, and gets confused with the new situation. But the union includes his readmission as a subject to be discussed with the owners and Lulu is hired again.
When I saw "La Classe Operaia Va in Paradiso" in the movie theaters many years ago, the fight between capitalism and socialism was in the top in the world and this movie depicted actually the fight between ideology, represented by the movement of radical students, and the reactionary mass without political conscience and formed by explored workers. Lulu represents the servitude of the working class to the monopoly of the capitalist class. Presently this important movie is dated and youngsters may not understand its importance in the 70's. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "A Classe Operária Vai ao Paraíso" ("The Working Classe Góes to Paradise")
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