Posted in: Disc Reviews by David Annandale on June 22nd, 2003
We are in the final days of WWII. The Allies are liberating Italy, but the Nazis and holdoutFascists haven’t quite been beaten yet. They still hold sway in the town of San Martino. Whenthe villagers are ordered to gather in the cathedral, a large group decide to flee into thecountryside, hoping to find the Americans. The film is narrated by a woman who, at the time ofthe story, is six years old, and thinks the flight is a grand adventure. There are great momentsof tendernes… and humour here, but the film avoids sentimentality by keeping the harsh natureof war very much at the forefront of our consciousness. There are some very hard scenes here,and no cop-outs. A remarkable work.
A mono soundtrack, and one that sounds considerably older than 1982. Though cleanenough, and free of static, the dialogue is sometimes quite distorted. The music isn’t plagued thisway, fortunately. Otherwise, not much to say, though I suspect the limitations are due to thesource and a stereo remix probably wouldn’t have helped.
A slight (1.66:1) widescreen format, but this is the theatrical release ratio. The print is inpretty good shape, but there are some minor instances of damage, in the form of dirt on the left-hand side of the frame appearing once or twice, the first time about 20 minutes into the film.Accompanying this flaw is a slight flicker. The picture is otherwise quite strong, with goodcolours and flesh tones.
A scored menu, and the theatrical trailer are all you have to work with here.
Though a very minimal disc, this is a very strong, moving film, well worth seeking out.Highly recommended.
Special Features List
- Theatrical Trailer