The foolish servant Pulcinella is sent from the depths of Mt. Vesuvius to present-day Campania to honor the last wishes of the poor shepherd Tommaso: his mission is to save a young buffalo ...
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The foolish servant Pulcinella is sent from the depths of Mt. Vesuvius to present-day Campania to honor the last wishes of the poor shepherd Tommaso: his mission is to save a young buffalo called Sarchiapone. Pulcinella finds the animal at the former royal palace of Carditello, where Tommaso had looked after the ruined Bourbon estate in the heart of the Land of Fires. He takes the buffalo off to the north and the two servants, man and beast, travel through a beautiful and lost Italy, but their long journey's end does not bring what they were hoping for.
The director was faced with a problem when the subject of his initial movie died part way through filming.
His subject - the volunteer caretaker of the palace of Carditello spends years cleaning up rubbish on that site. We watch him do some of this but there is no real interaction until he rescues a male buffalo calf who has been left to die.
The story then switches narrators and it is the calf who takes over the story. There is some weird setup involving a mythical Pulcinella character which is used as the bridging story to switch timelines.
I saw this in a festival because it was Italian and it sounded like it would be unusual. Perhaps those familiar with Italian culture would understand more about the Pulcinella character who seems to regain his soul later in the movie although I couldn't be sure.
There are some great ideas here. If I had been the editor I would have dropped most of the caretaker sequence as that raises more questions than it answers and the film should have been much shorter.
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