A sanitary battalion of Italian Army is sent to Sorman oasis in Lybia during the Africa campaign in 1940. Soon an Italian missionary, living nearby, succeed to transform the occupation by ... See full summary »
A sanitary battalion of Italian Army is sent to Sorman oasis in Lybia during the Africa campaign in 1940. Soon an Italian missionary, living nearby, succeed to transform the occupation by Italian Army in a kind of humanitarian mission. In fact all the battalion is involved to help the local population. The war anyway goes on with no regards to human feelings. The "glorious" Fascist campaign is going to became a fast retreat. Written by
I recently saw this at the 2008 Palm Springs International Film Festival. Writer/Director Mario Monicelli was 91 when this, his 65th film was filmed. He'll turn 93 this year and should probably be in consideration for a Lifetime Achievement Oscar while he's still alive considering he's been making films since 1935 and two of his films received Best Foreign Launguage Film nominations and he has also been nominated for Best Screenplay. This film unfortunately isn't an award winning caliber film but it's not too bad. Based on the autobiographical novel by Monicelli's longtime friend Mario Tobino this is the story of an Italian Army medic corps sent to the Libyan Desert in 1940 during Italy's ill-fated African Campaign during World War II. Major Strucchi (Alessandro Haber) leads the medic unit made up of men who are novices to the battle front and spends his time writing love letters to his bride back home. Franciscan Friar Simone (Michele Placido) is the the senior of the group and once had a church in the area and is interested in spreading Christianity not Mussalini's Fascism to the desert dwelling natives. Lt. Salvi (Giorgio Passotti) has no idea of what the horrors of the front lines are like or the customs of the locals and joined the war only to take travel photographs. Periodically the overzealous commanding General (Tahi Sanginetti) shows up thinking of ways he can advance his career. The scenes of his arrival and departure on a motorcycle side-car are ridiculously sped up for whatever reason I didn't understand and add nothing to the film as a comic overtone. The film is a dry comedy and features the beautiful Tunisian-Jewish, Israeli born model-turned-actress Moran Atias in a small role. This is certainly not a great film but I liked it and would give it a 7.0 out of 10.
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