'Tomorrow is another day.' A memorable and heart wrenching tribute to Sicily! This film captures the soul of the Sicilian post-WWII experience, candidly revealing its peoples joys and sorrows, desires and dreams. The Roman con-man, Morelli, drives through Sicily posing as a film talent scout, charging 1500 lire for a screen test. Traveling through the islandâ??s rugged, natural beauty, we observe an agricultural economy, devastated by war and peppered with villages dominated by a church, piazza and, sometimes, a tiny cinema. This is an older, harder way of life, entrenched in poverty and corruption. And, the faces, the faces stamped by experience, so many, varied and revealing faces: the young and old, rich and poor, crazy, the â??seduced and abandoned,â?? whore, and homosexual; the carabinieri, the mafia, monarchists, anarchists, fascists, communists, and Christian Democrats. Every townsperson has a dream to escape for a better life.
Appearance and performance are embedded in Italian culture: All Italians are born actors! Many American viewers may not realize that the possibility of starring or participating in movies was a very real one at the time. By definition, the neo-realist directors used natural settings and non-actors in their films; People were selected for their faces and distinct characteristics. Female, Italian screen stars, such as Magnano, Bose, Lollobrigida, Loren and Cardinale, launched their film careers by winning regional beauty contests. Some auteurs actually preferred non-professional actors to achieve their cinematic visions because they required minimal coaching and could be directed. Rossellini tied a string to a non-professionalâ??s toe and tugged on it when he wanted him to move. Fellini was notorious for providing no dialogue until shooting the scene and posing his characters, earning him the moniker of puppet master.
So, although Morelli exploits the Siciliansâ?? hopes, he also makes no promises. His crime is not the swindle, but his disrespect for his inadvertent role of confessor. He is imprisoned for violating trust and dishonoring the Sicilian people. Morelliâ??s return to the mainland of Italy is a poignant, poetic, unifying and redemptive montage of Sicilian experience, national identity and humanity. This film is deserving of much more acclaim and credit than it has earned.