Drama about mafia and jealousy in post-war Corleone. The story of one hero – one of many at Venice 57 – with the peasant’s face of Marcello Mazzarella (Ruiz’s Proust) who lived in the mountains that are situated in Sicily but could really be anywhere in the Southern hemisphere from Colombia to Iran.
Placido, the son of Carmelo Rizzotto comes back from the war armed with a new anti-fascist consciousness but purer than ever of heart. He cannot accept the arrogance of the land managers and the brutal way in which they select those lucky few who will work the fields and whose families will be able to eat. He organises the peasants and persuades them to occupy the land. His magnetic personality pulls the people in and he looks down on the world from his perch in the wind-swept mountains. He rebels against mafia power, and Placido manages to convince his father that he is right and the mafia is wrong.
Luciano the Lame, a promising new recruit to the mafia hates Rizzotto and envies him his fiancée, who also happens to be the daughter of Liggio’s lover. It is too easily for the “family” to pass off Placido’s death as a crime of passion and honour to take away his fiancée. On the night on 10 March 1948 the Union leader of Corleone disappears and Captain Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa investigates. Pio La Torre takes Rizzotto’s place at the Employment Office. A special mention goes to the music composed by the Agricantus. They perform a funereal lament that is simply perfect for this physical, political and indispensable film.