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A Great Movie That Has Been Banned In Italy For Telling The Truth.
Li chiamarono... briganti! (They called them... brigands!) is a 1999 Italian film, directed by Pasquale Squitieri. It tells the story of Carmine Crocco, a 19th-century Italian brigand who gained recognition when he came to the forefront of the brigandage during the Italian unification, by opposing the army of King Victor Emmanuel II. It stars Enrico Lo Verso, Claudia Cardinale, Franco Nero, Remo Girone, Giorgio Albertazzi among the others. The movie was quickly suspended from its cinema run and it is not available on VHS or DVD.
Movie Plot: Carmine Crocco (Enrico Lo Verso) is an outlaw native of Rionero in Vulture (Basilicata), who was forced to the bandit's life after killing a man who had harassed his sister. He joined Giuseppe Garibaldi's Expedition of the Thousand against the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies hoping for a pardon, because the Savoy's government promised to forgive deserters in exchange for military service. But the promise wasn't kept and Crocco was arrested. He also noted that the economic situation was getting worse, with new taxes and growing unemployment.
He is soon released with the help of the local clergy and, disappointed by the unfulfilled promise of the new government, Crocco is persuaded by the cleric Don Pietro (Remo Girone) to become the leader of the resistance against Victor Emmanuel II, promising him money and weapons. Thus Crocco joins the Bourbon side, forming an army composed mainly of poor people.
The brigand and his men conquer the Vulture region in the name of king Francis II, gaining the support of the local population. The new Italian government is worried about this rebellion and General Enrico Cialdini (Benoît Vallès) is assigned to suppress it. The repression is cruel; Cialdini orders the shooting of the brigands and anyone who deals with them, mass killings (where even women and children are not spared) and confiscation of basic necessities.
Meanwhile, the Bourbon government in exile sends the Spanish General José Borjes (Francesco Mazzini) to Basilicata, to reinforce and discipline the bands. Crocco does not trust Borjes from the start because he is worried about losing his leadership, but he accepts the alliance. After some victorious battles, Crocco breaks the alliance with Borjes because he does not want to serve under a foreigner.
Crocco's lieutenant, Caruso (Ennio Coltorti), betrays him hoping for clemency, revealing to the authorities the hideouts of the brigands. After his betrayal, Crocco's army suffers many casualties and many of his men are captured and executed by firing squad. In the face of a losing battle, the only way to save himself is escape.
One Of The Best Movies I Have Ever Seen. I'm Astounded Why Italy In The Name Of Democracy Would Ban A Truthful Great Movie Like Li chiamarono... briganti!.
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