Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
Writer and director, scholar and philosopher, and now actor playing himself in this autobiographical sequel to Padre Padrone, Gavino Ledda has created an intellectual, avant-garde film that might reach slightly beyond the grasp of audiences looking forward to being entertained but not necessarily enlightened. When he goes back to live in the village of his ancestors, Ledda is equipped with a university degree that alienates him from the peasants, and he is suffering from an ulcer which he cures with the help of Leonardo da Vinci, his imaginary mentor. As Ledda finds himself in the small shepherd's cottage that becomes his home, he is visited by Greek goddesses as well as demons that must be subjugated if he is to continue learning. His own pride, or "hubris" derives from a willingness to dominate these gods, and he is resigned to suffering the inevitable punishments for assuming that arrogant stance. He taps unseen powers to ward off a mechanical harvester and then plants Beethoven's music and classical statues in the fields, whereupon the stone boundary walls of these farmlands explode. Viewers may be captivated by images such as these, yet they are not conducive to sitting back, relaxing, and dipping into the hot buttered popcorn.