I just finished seeing this film. I don't remember having seen another film as delicate as this one. I could only compare it with the Swedish "Cries and Whispers", the French "Tous les matins du monde" and very few more of this kind.
Very quiet -VERY quiet- just two characters on the screen all the time --few other actors in very brief scenes-- an almost desolate city, a desolate sea, a desolate route.
Two brothers that so far have lived separate lives --one thirty some, the other fifteen-- that now meet again because the older one comes back home when he learns that a month before his parents were killed by the local mafia (we are in Sicily), and because the bomb they used to kill them with in their shoe shop the younger brother is now on a wheelchair.
All sorts of feelings come about during his stay there between the two brothers: hate, love, fear of reaching out, misunderstandings. This is the whole film. It develops --very slowly-- those feelings until the very beautiful and humane ending.
It also shows magnificently without showing too much the oppression these people live with, the fear of the mafiosi, that every one knows personally and nobody dares to confront because they know they'll be dead if they do so.
And these mafiosi live among them as your next door neighbor and everybody respects them. There are no violent scenes, there are not gallons of blood all over the screen nor mutilated bodies, and yet the message comes across as powerfully with very subtle situations where one feels the claustrophobic lives these oppressed people live without any sign of improvement in the near or far future.
Neighbors are liquidated on the main piazza as fast and efficiently without even disturbing the traffic as the passers by get horrified by the happening, but everybody remains silent --they could be the next victim-- and pretends that nothing has happened.
This film has been recommended by the Italian government as of cultural interest. One wonders if they couldn't instead do something about this horrible cancer within the Italian society!!
Only to be seen if you are in the mental disposition that you could feel comfortable and enjoy a very small gathering where a musical quartet will play an afternoon of Brahms chamber music.
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