Teatro Auditorium Manzoni > 19:00


Pietro Germi


Thursday 27/08/2020


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

The words “Honour and Family” are inscribed on Vincenzo Ascalone’s gravestone. Throughout the entire film he does nothing but plot increasingly catastrophic schemes and suffocating concealments to protect and maintain this untouchable dyad, on which an entire social order seems to balance. Except that everything conspires against him: his too-beautiful daughter (an unforgettable Stefania Sandrelli), the too blazing sun, a frenzy of desire that propriety and conventions are unable to keep in check. All of which can only ever result in a deadly cocktail of collective schizophrenia and hysteria, devouring exhausted bodies and collapsed nerves and producing a carousel of monsters worthy of Goya. The film is a rhythmic and visual prodigy, where the guaranteed fun is relentlessly infiltrated by grotesque desolation, as a mirror to our civilisation. Which is not only that of Sicily in the distant 1960s.

Andrea Meneghelli

I find that my film isn’t even a very Sicilian one. It draws inspiration from the reality of Sicilian life, delving deep into it as it seeks an absolutely symbolic meaning, specifically that of alienation. And by that, I mean the representation of men alienated by a myth: in this case, the myth of honour, but in other cases it could easily be another myth: homeland, money, religion. I don’t know, there are so many. It is a grotesque depiction of an alienated world, exacerbated and swollen by a poisonous yeast… This poison, from the perspective of the male-female-honour-family-law relationship that regulates over these matters, is anything but a thing of the past. You believe it to be a thing of the past, but that’s not the case. If you only knew how many sacrificed lives there are, and not only in Sicily. I chose Sicily because first of all I like the place, its landscapes excite me; but in my opinion, half of Italy suffers from an almost identical psychological condition… I would like to hear a critic say: “You emerge from watching this entertaining film with a ghastly sense of fear, as if you had witnessed a parade of things, faces, monsters”.

Pietro Germi in Pietro Germi. Ritratto di un regista all’antica, edited by Adriano Aprà, Massimo Armenzoni, Patrizia Pistagnesi, Pratiche, Parma 1989

Cast and Credits

Scen.: Age e Scarpelli, Luciano Vincenzoni, Pietro Germi. F.: Aiace Parolin. M.: Roberto Cinquini. Scgf.: Carlo Egidi. Mus.: Carlo Rustichelli. Int.: Stefania Sandrelli (Agnese Ascalone), Saro Urzì (Don Vincenzo Ascalone), Aldo Puglisi (Peppino Califano), Lando Buzzanca (Antonio Ascalone), Leopoldo Trieste (Barone Rizieri), Rocco D’Assunta (Orlando Califano), Lola Braccini (Amalia), Umberto Spadaro (l’avvocato Ascalone). Prod.: Franco Cristaldi per Lux-Ultra- Vides, Compagnie Cinématographique de France. DCP. Bn.