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Alessandro Blasetti directed this historical drama focusing on the Battle of Calatafimi. In May, 1860, the citizens of Sicily rebelled and defeated the troops sent by the King of Naples to put them down. Blasetti uses an amateur cast speaking in regional dialects, which gives his film an authenticity in sharp contrast to most of the pompous epics being churned out at the time. The story concentrates on the rebels themselves, including a rebel's wife and the young shepherd (Giuseppe Gulino) who travels to Genoa to enlist the aid of Garibaldi. The film's style (and its focus on peasants) is almost a precursor to neo-realism, and presents a very human portrait of the forces behind battlefield spectacle. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi
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