La terra (2006) Poster

(2006)

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8/10
Very well-done example of good Italian movie!
giordano-821 March 2006
Very well-done example of Italian movie! I appreciated the quite unusual plot, the various typical characters and the good performances of the actors. Above all the director Sergio Rubini keeps for himself the intolerable figure of a dirty, rotten and slippery loan shark. And Bentivoglio is perfect as usual with his tired face of the man who has already seen them all... The bad unchanging habits of a southern Italian village are balanced by the warmly beating hearts of these four different brothers, all partially crazy for the way they react to the negative aspects of the society in which they are forced to live. A strong suggestion to have a look!!!
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8/10
A gem of Italian cinema
Chris_Docker16 November 2006
Our Land begins with a bewildering collage of scenes where the audience is kept in the dark about what's really happening. A heated domestic argument. The two antagonists are barely seen. Of the children witnessing it, the face of the oldest son stares into the camera before cutting to a fast moving train and an empty road.

Intense conversations remain a mystery. Like Luigi, who is coming back to his hometown after a long spell away, we are not up to speed on what has happened in the intervening years. With this roundabout approach, the director steals up on us creating an air of bewilderment and imparts a wry humour to very embittered arguments. We slowly gather that Luigi's past includes an accidental murder, and that his future will depend on untangling the mess that his three brothers have got themselves into.

Luigi was only popping into town to sign a few papers, but now everyone expects him to 'do something.' At the centre of it is a plot of land left to them by their father, but Luigi's brothers have very different needs and intentions. Added to the mix, are the charms of the lovely Angela, who loves skinny-dipping and running through the rain. Italian passions soon fly fast and furious.

Half way through, another death plunges Our Land into a full-on murder-mystery. The wife-beating nightclub owner Tonino, played brilliantly by the director himself, is so slimy and sinister as to make all the wrangling brothers seem like good kids. "Do you all get on?" asks the police inspector, without the slightest trace of sarcasm. The solution is emotional, tense, and changes the relationship between the brothers forever.

Our Land is a remarkable piece of cross-genre Italian cinema from the director who first came to our attention with The Station. It includes impressive performances with an unusual and ingenious plot. The gradually unravelling story makes for compulsive viewing and the excellent characterisation gives us reason to care about the protagonists even before we know what they've done or why. Colourful scenery, excellent script and a very brisk pace, all combine to entertain without ever talking down to us. Although slightly cluttered, the film rewards the effort needed to assimilate all the details and would withstand repeated viewing. Gems like this remind us that Italian cinema is alive and kicking.
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9 stars (our of 10)
richlion14 April 2007
I saw this movie at the 2007 Italian Film Festival (now in its third year at Washington University in St. Louis) and found it to be an extraordinary work of art. With a strong script, great acting, complex characters, and wonderful-looking actors--as only the Italians seem to be able to do!--it deserves to be seen by the widest-possible audience, and I can only hope it gets shown, if it hasn't already, in cineplexes across the country. (Dream on, right?!) Even though the movie is, in part, an old-fashioned murder mystery, in reality it's a story about relationships--between lovers, parents and their children, among brothers, and, probably most poignantly, the centuries-old love affair Italians have for each other and their uniquely rich way of life.
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8/10
A great visual film and solidly entertaining
johno-2127 January 2007
I recently saw this at the 2007 Palm Springs International Film Festival and of the 31 films I saw there this would make my top 5. Actor/writer/director Sergio Rubini cast himself as loan shark/nightclub operator and local villain Tonio and delivers a great sinister film character. Luigi (Fabrizio Bentivoglio) had been in exile from his village in the southern Italian area of Puglia as a teenager and has become a college professor in Milan in the north. He must return to his hometown to sign some papers concerning the family property that he owns with his brothers and becomes swept up in murder, intrigue, romance, revenge, his past and his dysfunctional family. Michel (Emilio Solfrizzi) is the local politician brother who is in debt to Tonio. Mario (Paolo Briguglia) is the youngest brother who has dedicated his life to community service in caring for the less fortunate and the handicapped. Aldo (Massimo Venturiello) is the macho and threatening half-brother who lives on and works the large family farm that has been in the family for generations. It's a crime drama with lots of dark comedy and a great cast in the roles of some great screen characters. Fabio Cianchetti is the cinematographer who photographed last year's La Bestia nel cuore that was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film. Claudia Gerini as Laura, Giovann Di Rauso as Angela and Alisa Bystrova as Tania round out the cast. An entertaining and great looking film from Italy I would give this an 8.5 out of 10 and recommend it to all audiences.
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