Italy / 1969 / 100'
The Bologna Film Library presents,
* By courtesy of RAI – Cinema
Back home after captivity on the Asiago highland in 1945, Gianni had great difficulty finding a job. The old Du asked him to help to find World War I surplus ordnance (unexploded bombs). This is a rare art film originating from a common experience and deeply rooted in the Sette Comuni highland which stands not only for the adventurous dimension (and the freedom given by adventure) but also as a moment of reflection on the tragic stupidity of war. The film is tailor-made on the wonderful character of the old Du (Toni Lunardi) around whom the plot is developed and who represents the soul of the story. This great old man did not act as an occasional actor: he took so much possession of his role as to become the film himself. Olmi wrote this film with Mario Rigoni Stern and Tullio Kezich. It was produced by RAI.
( Laura, Luisa and Morando Morandini, Il Morandini 2005 – Dizionario dei Film, Zanichelli Editore, Bologna 2006.)
Ermanno Olmi was born in 1931. He moved to Milan as a young man to enrol in the city’s Academy of Dramatic Art. To make a living, he worked for EdisonVolta, where between 1953 to 1961, he directed about thirty documentaries including La diga sul ghiacciaio (1953), Tre fili fino a Milano (1958) and Un metro è lungo cinque (1961). His cinema debut came with Il tempo si è fermato (1959), a feature film about the friendship between the guard at a dam and a student. In 1977 Olmi made his masterpiece, L'albero degli zoccoli, which won prestigious awards. In the following years, his work was acclaimed by both public and critics alike. After Centochiodi (2007), Olmi announced that he would no longer make fiction films but would return to his first love, documentaries. The following year, he was awarded a Career Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.