In 1948, Italian director Luchino Visconti gave audiences a lovely nugget of neorealist cinema. That film is La Terra Trema and it is a black and white subtitled docufiction about fishermen who are exploited and the steps they take to rid themselves of these poor work conditions. Using non-professional actors and filmed in a unique style, La Terra Trema is a very interesting film that is both beautiful and realistic.
The film takes place in Aci Trezza, a tiny fishing village on the coast of Sicily. The Valastro family is one of many fishing families that are being exploited. They then try to go into business for themselves but are met with disaster and opposition bringing further hardship to the family.
La Terra Trema is a wonderful commentary on big business and the negative and corrupt effects they have on the working-class. The film is considered a docufiction which blends reality with that which is made up. It is a truly interesting thing because even though the actors are ordinary people, there are elements which are fabricated. This type of filmmaking may trick audiences but it will trick them in a way that is entertaining as well as informative.
Luchino Visconti has provided us with a pretty special film here. It’s realism is the true star and the on screen action is at times real and at times feigned. The film will keep you guessing but the most important aspect of the film is that it is a quality piece of Italian neorealist cinema.
DVD Bonus Features
There are absolutely no bonus features for La Terra Trema.