1943, Italy's Salentino peninsula. Tony, an American fighter pilot, raised speaking Italian in New York, parachutes to safety and is hidden at the olive farm of Carmine, a man with three ... See full summary »
1943, Italy's Salentino peninsula. Tony, an American fighter pilot, raised speaking Italian in New York, parachutes to safety and is hidden at the olive farm of Carmine, a man with three daughters. One is being courted by Pasquale, the son of the area's largest landowner. It is she, Cosima, whom Tony falls for. He gets to know her through the rhythms of the farm and a traditional way of life, expressed in spontaneous song and in pizzicatas (a courtship dance; a dance that enacts a knife fight between men; and, the frenzied tarantata - a woman's dance exorcising passion). As Carmine protects Tony and as Cosima begins to love him, Pasquale does not go gently. Written by
Recently released in the US distribution, got a review this summer in the The New York Times, and will shown soon be playing at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, this 1997 movie had a hard time finding distribution even in its native Italy. Shown at a festival in 1998 of locally-produced films that for some reason or other weren't shown in commercial theaters, it sort of came out of the closet this year as a re-discovered hiding gem. Beautifully photographed in southern Apulia in a region called Salento under groves of majestic olive trees, it shows a peasant agrarian life as a family adapts to include an italo-american pilot shot down from a WWII plane. The pilot speaks the native dialect and camouflages himself as a cousin. Aside from the photography, the music anthology of local folk songs and instrumental is excellent. The director took great pains to keep the authenticity of local dialect, music, expressions, farming methods, social structures, and costumes. For these reasons, a very similar film, but filmed on the island of Sardinia, is "Banditi a Orgosolo". I read that his next film, also about Salento, will be "Sangue Vivo".
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?