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Raccolta d'inverno (1980)

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Winter's Harvest  »

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Pig slaughter, Italian style.
8 January 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Brian McKenzie made this documentary about a group of Italian families, all from the region of Calabria, who live near Melbourne, Australia and who meet for a weekend to slaughter a pig in the traditional style of peasant farmers. During the course of the event, we watch the actual graphic details of the slaughter, followed by the fascinating conversion into salame, sorpressata, and other smoked sausage delights for the "winter harvest", as well as meat to accompany the day's festive pasta meal. The film portrays people happy and extremely skillful at this labor and with a lovely sense of conviviality and humor. The film ends in music and dance and stories. We are also shown a comparison of this traditional process with the modern mechanized slaughtering of industrial slaughter-houses. Although private pig-slaughtering is said to be illegal in Australia, these families still perform it, and it is a marvelous continuation of their historic regional culture. The dialog is all random, most of it in Calabrese dialect, some in heavily accented English. It is a little-known eye-opener and a real treasure of a film.


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