The story is set at the beginning of the 20th century in Sicily. Salvatore, a very poor farmer, and a widower, decides to emigrate to the US with all his family, including his old mother. ... See full summary »
Guido and Antonia are a young couple with opposing characters and working schedules: he works a night job as a doorman in a hotel, and she works as an employee for a rental car service. ... See full summary »
Nando Moriconi is a young Italian living in the early '50s Roma. He is completely crazy for everything that comes from the States. He tries to speak American-English (the most funny ever), ... See full summary »
Maria Pia Casilio,
Terraferma is without doubt the best film by the Sicilian director Crialese, whose earlier works include Respiro and Nuovomondo. It is a powerful, often disturbing and strongly emotional film (which some viewers and critics, mainly from the English-speaking world, seem to have difficulty with)that deals with one of the most urgent issues facing Italy, and Western Europe, the influx of desperately poor immigrants/refugees from Africa. The film is set on the Sicilian island of Lampedusa, which in recent years has received so many of these people that their "centri di accoglienza" can barely accommodate them. The harsh Bossi-Fini law, and an agreement worked out between Berlusconi's and Khaddafi's government, resulted in many immigrants who'd made it to Italy via Libya being sent back to Libya, where many were horribly mistreated. The elderly fisherman Ernesto, who rescues at sea an African mother and her son, represents an older, humane ethos, a Christian ethic in the best sense and the code of seafarers that demands one never abandons anyone lost at sea. Strong performances all around from the professional actors, including the wonderful Donatella Finocchiaro, who has appeared in the films of the Palermo-based director Roberta Torre, and the casting of actual local fishermen (there's a marvelous scene where they plot to get back at the oppressive and heartless carabineri)imparts a vivid authenticity. Terraferma also is visually stunning; Crialese loves the Mediterranean and he imbues "the wine-dark sea" with both mystical and socio-political import, as its shores embrace various yet similar civilizations. A beautiful, engrossing film with heart, soul, humor, and a powerful humanistic vision.
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