La Terra trema

Watch La Terra trema

  • NR
  • 1948
  • 2 hr 40 min
  • 7.8  (5,557)

La Terra trema is a neo-realist film, directed by Luchino Visconti in 1948. This Italian movie is based on the novel "I Malavoglia" by Giovanni Verga. The film depicts the life of the fishermen living in Aci Trezza, a small fishing village near Catania in Sicily, Italy. With this film, Luchino Visconti attempted to chart the hardships of working-class people and the grave consequences of certain decisions they make.

The movie opens with a voiceover that sets the stage for the lives of the fishermen’s families. The camera then pans across the village, highlighting the quaint atmosphere of the town, the fishing boats in the harbor, and the people living in the village. The protagonist of the story is a young fisherman, Ntoni Valastro (played by Antonio Arcidiacono). Ntoni and his family have been fishing on their boat for generations. They dream of owning their own boat one day and are always looking for ways to make that happen.

One day, Ntoni decides to take matters into his own hands. With the help of his siblings and his father, he purchases a boat on credit. They make a deal with the local fish market to sell their catch exclusively to them. But things don’t go as planned, and the family’s situation deteriorates. The boat is damaged in a storm, forcing them to take a loan from a loan shark, increasing their debt to an unmanageable amount. As the family’s debts mount, they are unable to catch enough fish to pay back their creditors. As a result, they must consider leaving their traditional way of life and becoming day laborers to make ends meet.

The movie offers a glimpse of the ways in which poverty and greed can destroy families and communities. The harsh economic realities leave the villagers feeling powerless and hopeless, and they struggle to find a way out. Visconti, through the film, offers a scathing critique of the economic and social conditions that drive people to desperation. He shows the exploitation of the poor by the wealthy, the powerlessness of ordinary people in a system controlled by the rich, and the vicious cycle of debt and subservience that entraps the working class.

One notable aspect of the movie is its use of non-professional actors. Luchino Visconti chose to use local Sicilian fishermen as actors to create a more authentic representation of their lives. The decision paid off, as it adds to the film's realism and believability. The actors fit perfectly into their respective roles, and the naturalistic style of acting only enhances the plot's raw emotional power.

The film's black and white cinematography is another highlight, appropriately conveying the grim mood of the story. The movie's imagery is dark and moody, portraying the struggles of the fishermen’s lives in a way that is both poetic and haunting. The stark contrast between light and dark in the movie enhances the impact of the narrative.

In conclusion, La Terra trema is a beautifully crafted masterpiece from Luchino Visconti that showcases the hardships and tragedies of working-class people. The movie serves as a social commentary on the economic injustices that prevail in the world. Through its powerful storytelling, it portrays the harsh realities of life and relationships under severe financial distress. With its excellent set of non-professional actors, cinematography, and raw emotional power, this film effectively captures the dignity and value of every human life, no matter how seemingly lowly.

La Terra trema is a 1948 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 40 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.8.

La Terra trema
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 40 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.8  (5,557)