Poor Sicilian fishers are exploited by fish wholesalers. One of the families is trying to escape them by being their own boss. But fate nobody helps them, and even fate is against them.Written by
When financing fell through, Visconti was forced to sell some of his mother's jewelry and one of the family's apartments in Rome to finish the film. See more »
In Sicily, Italian is not the language of the poor.
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Was originally released without Italian narration, but it flopped because the Italian audience could not understand the Sicilian dialect. Visconti re-released it with his own narration, which many find detracts from the film. See more »
This moving slice of life has several acts and moves like an opera, but the scenes are "neo-realistic" in the best sense.
All of Visconti's actors are from the Sicilian fishing village, but they were not acting--just portraying their lives. You care about these real people!
Family is everything--and it survives despite the buffeting by the storms, the stranglehold of the oligarchical wholesalers, and shortsightedness of the townspeople. We see the exploitation of the fishermen vividly and how most accept it as "God's will."
It also brings to mind the old joke: What is the difference between capitalism and communism? Capitalism is the exploitation of man by man, and communism is just the reverse.
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