Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
This serene slice-of-life drama is unusual in the fact that it is set in ninth century Italy. In the story, a variety of people have gathered at a relgious establishment at Malfole in what is now Tuscany, an abby associated with the cult of the Virgin Mary. One of the pilgrims is a local ruler who is certain that he is destined to die soon. If so, he would prefer to do it near the site of his late wife's grave. Another pilgrim is a royal concubine who is about to give birth to a child: her future will be very good indeed if the child turns out to be a boy. An executioner and his apprentice have come to do their usual very professional and dispassionate job on a wife-murderer; they have affable words with the man prior to chopping off his head. Perhaps the most touching of these pilgrims is a fourteen year old girl who is being "given" to the church by her family. Though there is not much story development in this film, it is filled with humor and memorable scenes; reviewers claimed it was very enjoyable.