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The film begins in the 1920's, in the Sicilian town of Bagheria (a.k.a. Baaria) where Giuseppe "Peppino" Torrenuova works as a shepherd to financially help his poor family. Over the next 50 years Giuseppe's life, as well as the life of the village, is observed. Giuseppe grows up, joins the Communist Party, marries a local girl (Mannina), has children and forges a political career for himself. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I wanted to like this film more than any other. The Italian cinema needs a shot in the arm and who better than Giuseppe Tornatore to be the one who does it. I've waited three days to see if anything Tornatore presented to his audience would stick. An image, a thought, an idea. Not such luck. The film is an epidermic recount of the 1900's without getting in very deep and with a great deal of Morricone music. "Baaria" turns out to be a pretty succession of images, too pretty and too many, that hide, while you're watching it, a total emptiness. A tired, didactic trifle built into an epic. Maybe Tornatore, the business man knew what he was doing. Not to alienate an audience with new thoughts or ideas but provide instead a long video clip full of pretty people acting up a storm. We'll see, maybe this a formula to get into the Oscar nominations and the fact that the gorgeous male lead is a communist makes him appear, today as today, like a true romantic hero. As beauty is, was and always will be in the eye of the beholder, audiences may be taken but what is shown on the screen and stop there. Unfortunately I can't do that. I prefer a scene out of focus but that gives me something I can take with me forever.
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