Sight and Sound - 06/01/2011
"[A] gentle humanist masterpiece..."
Domenico (Sandro Panseri) has migrated from his tiny Italian village to Milan. Here in the city, he has become little more than a number as he lands an entry level position with a company whose anonymity is matched only by that of Domenico's own status within Milan. The job seems to offer no opportunity and the bureaucratic system the young laborer has to deal with is nothing less than Kafka-esque. The quiet country transplant finds solace in a coworker, the beautifully sweet Antonietta (Loredana Detto), as the power of human connections triumphs over the cold atmosphere of the faceless modern business world.
Italian director Ermanno Olmi's (TREE OF THE WOODEN CLOGS) 1961 film is a masterpiece of tender human emotion. The performance of Sandro Panseri is perfectly understated with a stone-faced innocence reminiscent of Buster Keaton. The coming of age comedy won major prizes at the Venice and London Festivals and has become a classic film of great socio-political importance.
Coming Of Age |
Essential Cinema |
Social Issues |