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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
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Italian director Salvatore Mereu (Three-Step Dance) steps behind the camera for a sophomore occasion - and unveils distinct influence by such predecessors as Ermanno Olmi and Francesco Rosi - with SonetÃ ula, a cinematic eclogue that unfolds on the landscape of Sardinia. Neophyte Francesco Falchetto stars as Zuanne, a Sardinian shepherd boy from the (apocryphal) village of Orgidas. As the picture opens in 1938, Zuanne is 13, growing up under the tutelage of father Egidio (Lazar Ristovski) and grandfather Cicerone (Serafino Spiggia), both of whom he adores. The father-son closeness is short-lived, however, for in time Egidio suffers incarceration for a murder he didn't commit and then gets shuttled off to the Abyssinian war, where he is promptly killed - leaving the orphaned Zuanne to come of age under the warm and kindly Cicerone. Eventually, a tragic and complex series of events involving a stolen sheep forces Zuanne to go on the lam as a refugee - and the boy's desire for a young woman in his village, Maddalena (Manuela Martelli) becomes both his only tie to the hamlet of his youth and the one element that pulls him back to Orgidas. As all of this occurs, the long-cherished agrarian lifestyle in Italy - with the peasants' strong ties to the landscape - firmly and abruptly ends for the first time in centuries. The narrative of Mereu's picture spans 15 years, wrapping in 1953. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi