Enrico Mattei helped change Italy's future, first as freedom-fighter against the Nazis, then as an investor in methane gas through a public company, A.G.I.P., and ultimately as the head of ... See full summary »
Gian Maria Volontè,
A detective (inspector Rogas) is assigned to investigate the mysterious murders of some Supreme Court judges. During the investigation he discovers a complot that involves the Italian ... See full summary »
Vito Polara is a young ambitious man from the slums of Naples, who wants to get as much power and money as possible. He decides to quit smuggling cigarettes and tries to take over the local... See full summary »
In the fascist Italy of 1935, a painter trained as a doctor is exiled to a remote region near Eboli. Over time, he learns to appreciate the beauty and wisdom of the peasants, and to ... See full summary »
Gian Maria Volontè,
The original Italian is La Viaccia (the name of the family farm which motivates the plot). The death of a wealthy patriarch in 1885 sets off an interfamily power struggle. Son Ferdinando ... See full summary »
Set in 1963 Naples, Hands Over the City is a serious depiction of the corruption, nepotism and social issues of post war reconstruction.
Italy in the early 1960s was barely a developed nation. Like most European participants of World War Two, Italy was left devastated by six years of conflict ending in 1945.
The movie's plot revolves around an investigation of a building collapse resulting in several fatalities. The story plays out in the backdrop of local elections which may affect vested political interests dole out land development contracts to cronies.
By shedding light on back room political dealings, the film exposes the shortcomings of democracy in developing states. Additionally, the raw power of wealth in (literally) buying votes amongst a poor electorate (think India, etc.) is laid bare during the movie.
In such a corrupt environment geared to enhancing the wealth and influence of existing power brokers it is not surprising ordinary people turned to Socialist and even Communist politics. Indeed, Italy's Communist and Socialist parties regularly won 33% or more of the popular vote until the 1980s. (Both parties were independent of policies emanating from Moscow.)
Though one may criticize the movie's pace, the story unfolds well enough to watch. The characters are realistic with the black and white filming adding to the effect of watching a sordid drama unfolding in seedy, smoky backrooms. The cinematography, especially in the opening scenes of Naples cityscape, is excellent. Hands Over the City is a social statement film more than an entertainment piece.
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