Baaria Review

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Set in the Sicilian town of Bariia the films looks at life in Italy from the 30s until the 80s through the eyes of a family three generations of a family.


Cinema Paradiso's Giuseppe Tornatore returns to epic mode in this overstuffed but enjoyable historical drama. Spanning the ’30s to ’80s in a Sicillian town, it traces shepherd’s son Peppino (Francesco Scianna) as he fights the cause for Agrarian reform against the Mafiosi, marries a local beauty (Madè) against her family’s wishes and rises up the ranks of Italy’s communist party. It’s high on Italian peasant clichés and sentiment (Ennio Morricone’s score is intoxicating), but Tornatore throws the kitchen sink at the story, buttressing war scenes with family comedy and unleashing all sorts of filmmaking fireworks to make things feel fresh. It’s a huge tiramisu of a movie but none the worse for it.

Although at times it feels a little too packed, taking a closer look into fascist times, war and the notorious Italian mafia through the eyes of every day people is refreshing.