Eleven years after "Una storia semplice" Emidio Greco directs another filmization of a book by Leonardo Sciascia. In the life Don Giuseppe Vella, translator-forger of an old Arabic document that could mark the end of privileges of the sicilian aristocracy, Sciascia wanted to outline the figure of an opportunist with a personal moral code that pushed him to accelerate the dissolution of a regime of abuse and conservation of the statu quo the wind of change coming from pre-revolutionary France had started already. Emidio Greco maintains faithful to the spirit and the letter of the book and he releases a precise and formally sober film, without useless directorial frills, slowly paced and inspired from an untrendy idea of cinema. It could be tedious for somebody, and a little bit old-fashioned, but for patient viewers the 138 minutes of the film are a careful description of a world in decline which is easy to recall more contemporary issues. Silvio Orlando, one of the best Italian actors of its generation, delivers a good performance as well as Tommaso Ragno in the role of Francesco Paolo Di Blasi. The soundtrack by veteran composer Luis Bacalov also deserves to be praised.
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