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While playing outside one day, nine-year-old Michele discovers Filippo, who is chained to the ground at the bottom of a hole. Michele witnesses town baddie Felice nearby and suspects something bad is happening. Michele is unsure whom he should tell about his discovery, eventually spilling the beans to his closest friend. Written by
I personally really like movies that portray childhood the way I remember it--kids doing kid-like activities and adventures, summers with free time to wander and explore, and seeing the way kids think. They don't quite see things as adults do. The kids in the movie were quite realistic.
I think that Michele, the main character has more awareness and sympathy for people than most kids as evidenced by the stories he writes and reads to his sister. After he finds a child in a hole in the ground he writes a story about a child hidden away. Yet he reacts like a child in that he doesn't realize that there is something illegal going on, at least at first. The story unfolds slowly but steadily.
Because this movie is about kids and some suspicious people (Michele's father and friends)and the story is not written with a formula, there is an added dimension to the element of unpredictability.
I truly was inspired by the cinematography showing the idyllic scenes of the summer and wheat fields of Italy, including the insects and wildlife. I really liked the scene with the three threshers approaching Michele as he was crossing the fields. This scene also made us aware of the passing of time and probably summer soon ending. Also, there is, as there in many neighborhoods, a grumpy scary person (the hog farmer) who adds to the atmosphere of unpredictability.
The music is absolutely wonderful. And it is not just the music, but also listen to the skill of the musicians. Just because it is a string quartet playing, don't think it's boring.
In summary, this is a suspenseful, beautiful movie.
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