La Terra trema

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Total Count: 10


Audience Score

User Ratings: 893
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Movie Info

Luchino Visconti's pseudo-documentary look at the exploitation of Sicilian fishermen was based on Giovanni Verga's 1881 novel I Malavoglia. The townspeople of Aci Trezza, Sicily, portrayed themselves, speaking in their native dialects and fretting about economic hardship for over 160 minutes of screen time. As nobly neorealist as such an endeavor must have seemed, it died at the box office upon initial release, leading Visconti to add narration in standard Italian. The truth is that the film wasn't all that realistic to begin with, as Visconti's unshakable attachment to cinematic artifice led him to pretty up the dreary goings-on with camera virtuosity that seems completely misplaced given the events onscreen. More grueling than illuminating, this film was the first of a proposed trilogy (the remaining films were to deal with Sicilian peasants and miners) that Visconti mercifully never got around to making. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi


Critic Reviews for La Terra trema

All Critics (10) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for La Terra trema

  • Nov 16, 2015
    A sadly misguided film that deserves more credit for what it wants to say than for how it does it, since it is marred by stiff, unnatural performances by non-actors (like watching a school play), heavy-handed dialogue, a redundant narration and a formal rigor not so in tune with the kind of neorealist docufiction that Visconti wants to make.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 19, 2011
    A longstanding monument of neo-realism made by an aspiring Italian communist that openly criticized neoliberalism in the world's economy. Labor exploitation has always been a politically important issue. <i>La Terra Trema: Episodio del Mare</i> is a controversial and extraordinary masterpiece, even visually, with the powerful presence of the sea as an inert character, as a prophet of upcoming misfortunes. Nature is not the one to blame, or destiny, for that matter; it's the economic structure. 100/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Aug 28, 2008
    Black and white films used to prevent us several times from actually noticing the underlying notes.The incredible fact is..Terra Trema must be one of the openly,politically charged emeralds of film-making.The fishermen are nothing more but pawns of the system,the all-seeing machine.
    Dimitris S Super Reviewer

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