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David L. Cunningham
War seen through the eyes of Serra, a university student from Palermo who volunteers in 1942 to fight in Africa. He is assigned to the Pavia Division on the southern line in Egypt. Rommel and the Axis forces are bogged down; it's October, the British prepare an offensive. At first, boredom, heat, hunger, and thirst bedevil the Italians; then the Brits attack, and there's no luck or heroism in death. Finally, it's retreat in confusion. Serra, his sergeant Rizzo, and his lieutenant Fiori take a last walk toward home. It's said that each soldier gets three miracles; when Serra's are used up, what then?Written by
Given its small budget, this is a fine little film about Italian troops abandoned in the face of the British counter attack at El Alamein in late 1942.
More films and books need to be made about this sad chapter in the history of Italy, whose international military reputation is somewhat lower than that of the French.
Italian troops gave no less to their cause than did Germans or the British, the Russians, the Americans, and the Japanese. But because of poor leadership from Mussolini on down, they were forced to surrender in droves, and as much as we don't want to admit it, we Westerners hold those who surrender in pretty low esteem.
This film goes a long way toward correcting the historical record through its touching story, beautiful acting, wonderful art direction, and absolutely stunning cinematography.
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