A most affecting film and a fine cinematic achievement. It has been noted by others that there is barely a sympathetic character, little story and a largely bleak landscape. All the more wonder then that Crialese manages to so engage us with what is a truly scary film. We have seen westerns, even films of gangland where men are men and women do what they are told, but here children too are involved. This film must be hard to take for an Italian audience because, although here the events take place on a tiny island way off Sicily, the basic traits of Italian society are laid bare. All the men boss the women and children about but to see the young boys telling their mothers and aunts what to do is difficult territory for a 'civilised' audience. Of course, these traits are also still evident in all societies and it is all the more disturbing for these to be highlighted in this manner because we find it convenient to ignore them. I must also say that the music was impressive and the ending majestic. A must see film.