Synopsis by Bhob Stewart
Actor-turned-director Michele Placido directed this Italian political drama inspired by Liliana Rossi, a crusading woman from Puglia, Placido's hometown. Priest Don Gerardo (Placido), at age 50, reflects on his life, looking back to 1958, his childhood, and the discipline of his father (Fabrizio Bentivoglio). Outspoken leftist Liliana (Giovanna Mezzogiorno) is in her twenties when Gerardo takes an interest in her, but her leftist leanings generate resentment in the Catholic community. Liliana turns an abandoned stable into a school for local youths expelled from the state schools, but her teaching of progressive ideas on such subjects as sexual equality and birth control stirs up hostility. Becoming politically active, she runs for a local council seat. Torn between his emotional response to Liliana, community traditions, and his religious background, Gerardo learns of Liliana's affair with a married doctor (Enrico Lo Verso), and this leads him to join right-wingers who attack and destroy her school. Shown at the 1998 Venice Film Festival.