Watch Don Camillo in Moscow
- 1 hr 33 min
In the 1965 movie Don Camillo in Moscow, Fernandel revives his role as the parish priest of an Italian village, Don Camillo, who is known for his humorous and active personality. The film brings forth the clash of ideologies of two major world powers in the height of the Cold War era. The movie begins with Don Camillo accidentally getting a visa for the Soviet Union while trying to obtain a visa for the United States. He believes this is a sign from God and that he has to head to Moscow to spread the teachings of Christ to the Communists. However, when he reaches Moscow, he realizes that the Soviet authorities are not interested in religious talks with him.
The local Communist Party head, Vladimir, becomes Don Camillo's interpreter and guide. Vladimir is initially hostile towards Don Camillo but the priest's sincerity and morality wins him over. Vladimir is impressed with Don Camillo's will to help their community, and how he has mercy and helps even those who oppose him.
Don Camillo faces several obstacles during his stay in Moscow, with one of the major ones being convincing the local farmers to contribute some eggs that he can use to bake Easter cakes for orphaned children. This proves difficult as the farmers are reluctant to contribute and the Soviet authorities are not very helpful. The priest also has to maneuver his way through the bureaucratic maze of Soviet officials, who have no time for the church.
The other major character in the movie is Peppone, a communist mayor played by Gino Cervi. Don Camillo's ideological opposite, Peppone stands for the socialist order, while Don Camillo stands for Christianity. Despite their differences, they share a deep bond of friendship, loyalty and respect to each other.
Peppone is not happy with Don Camillo's presence in Moscow and wants to see him out of his sight. But as the movie progresses, it becomes clear that Peppone respects Don Camillo. In one scene, when Don Camillo gets beaten up by the Communist Youth League for trying to stop them from vandalizing a statue of Lenin, Peppone comes to his aid.
Don Camillo also sets up a makeshift church in the middle of an abandoned warehouse where he can continue to preach the teachings of Christ to interested locals. This causes a ruckus with the authorities who always seem to find ways to close the church down. But even the authorities have a soft spot for the charismatic priest, which is explored throughout the film.
Leda Gloria plays the role of Maria, Peppone's wife, who has a soft spot for the priest. She plays the perfect mediator between the two men and often helps in bringing them closer.
The movie highlights the differences between the two ideologies and how difficult it is for two opposing ideologies to reach a consensus, especially during a time when both parties were suspicious of each other. Don Camillo in Moscow explores themes such as friendship, loyalty, faith, and redemption.
Overall, Don Camillo in Moscow is a heartwarming movie that brings two completely different worlds together. It shows how two opposing ideologies can still bond over shared values and love for humanity. With its humor and warmth, the movie offers a different view of the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War.