Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Gente del Po

IT 1943/1947. D: Michelangelo Antonioni. 12 min. Print: Scuola Nazionale di Cinema / Cineteca Nazionale. English subtitles. Viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki, 19 August 2008. - Antonioni's first film, shot in 1943 and released in 1947. A documentary on a barge on the River Po, carrying sacks of grain, with a family of husband, wife and daughter living in it. Una vita dura. Navigating is not easy, it requires skill, we see moving bridges, a horse on the horizon, hay-making, an old mill. The river gives also a dream of mobility. People as silhouettes on the horizon. Young people flirt. The daughter falls ill, is tenderly cared for. There is a rising wind, a storm, the water rises, the earth gets muddy, the village is at the mercy of the water, the sweet water of the Po, and the bitter of the Adriatic Sea. - A dignified entry in the cinema's venerable river boat subgenre.

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