Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. Italy, 1948. Universalia Film. Screenplay by Antonio Pietrangeli, Luchino Visconti, based on the novel by Giovanni Verga. Cinematography by G.R. Aldo. Produced by Salvo D’Angelo. Music by Willy Ferrero. Film Editing by Mario Serandrei.
Heartbreakingly sad drama from Luchino Visconti chronicles the increasing destitution of a poor fishing family in Sicily. The feisty son of the clan decides that he’s tired of the fishing merchants taking advantage of his and his family’s hard work, and believes he can do better by going into business for himself. The venture seems promising until nature has its way with his boats and his business is destroyed completely. The townspeople, at first supportive of his bold gesture, turn on him and his family completely when they become failures and are forced into the worst possible circumstances. This socially relevant drama features dreamy photography and excellent acting by non-professionals, sort of a pre-cursor to Ermanno Olmi’s groundbreaking The Tree Of Wooden Clogs.