Synopsis by Mark Deming
Giuseppe Tornatore directed this grand-scale portrait of life and love over several decades in a small town in Sicily. The Torrenuovas are a family of peasant shepherds who have lived and worked in Bagheria though many generations. In the years before the rise of Mussolini, the family often found themselves working for Don Giacinto (Lollo Franco), a local tycoon who often used his power and position to take advantage of others. Young Peppino Torrenuova senses a profound injustice in the way Don Giacinto treats his elders, and as the years pass the young man becomes a passionate advocate for social change. Once he grows to be a man, Peppino (Francesco Scianna) falls in love with beautiful Mannina (Margareth Made) and they get married, starting a family of their own over the objections of Mannia's parents, who believe she can do better. As Peppino throws in his lot with the local Communist party and works to make life better for his fellow peasants, we see a number of important historical events through his eyes and watch the fortunes of his town and his family rise and fall. Featuring guest appearances by Monica Bellucci, Raoul Bova and Donatella Finocchiaro, Baaria was the opening night attraction at the 2009 Venice International Film Festival.
shepherd, Sicilian, small-town, Communist-party, crusade, fortune [wealth], generation, peasant, social-change, tycoon