Perhaps the best Italian film of the 1990’s. Two Italian racketeers decide to capitalize on the chaos in post-Communist Albania by using government money earmarked for economic relief to set up a fake shoe factory. But they need an Albanian to be in charge so they find an old man to serve as their sham CEO. This film was shown at the second annual Traverse City Film Festival in 2006.
This is a powerful film which speaks volumes on the subject of freedom. The film chronicles various characters reeling from the effects of fascism and communism. A young man named Gino plans to use an old man, Talarico Michele, as a sham CEO and instead forms a bond with the old man as the story progresses. He learns the old man years before left a wife and son behind to travel to war, and he was ultimately imprisoned for years. There are some graphic scenes in the film including the militia killing and wounding people and, in one butcher’s shop, there is a bloody cow’s head on display. There are memorable images such as the homesick man dying in route to what he hopes will be freedom. The image at the end of the people on the ship speaking of America is compelling as it makes one appreciate freedom. It is a shame that language prevents us from approving this film as family friendly.