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Anders W. Berthelsen,
Claus Riis Østergaard
In September 1980, Fiat, the biggest car manufacturer of cars in Italy, announced a reduction of thousands of jobs in its Turin mammoth factory. That figure escalated to almost twenty thousand. The union representing the employees in concert with the general feeling of the workers decided to declare a strike against the company. Because the two parts were widely apart, the work stoppage went on for a few months in which all the personnel were affected in one way, or another.
Against that background, we are told a human account involving one worker, Sergio, a factory operator and his involvement with Emma, a woman that was starting a successful career in the automation department. Emma was having a love affair with the widower Silvio, an executive. Emma's own background was a humble one. Her parents had moved North from Sicily and Naples, where they got married and raised a family. Emma and her two siblings lived at home. Emma's brother, who worked at the plant with Sergio invited him to dinner, believing he would be attracted to the youngest sister, when in reality, Sergio had set his eyes on Emma.
Their love affair went through those difficult days against the background of the ugly strike that set a record for its duration. Wanda Labate, the director of the film, used a lot of archive material to make things more real, taking the action to the days of the furious battle between management and the workers. There is a sad epilogue as Emma and Sergio meet years later.
The best thing in the film is the level of acting excellence Ms. Labate got from her cast. Valeria Solarino and Felippo Timi are seen as Emma and Sergio. Both are in great form as the ill fated lovers. Fabrizio Gifuni appears as Silvio, the man that wanted Emma at all costs. There are good ensemble playing from the supporting cast.
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