La Terra Tremai is mostly notable for being early.
Among the benefits of being early are such chief weapons as having Franco Zeffirelli for an assistant directorii (also Francesco Rossi, whom you haven't heard of, in spite of scoring ahead of Zeffirelli in 1948) and being there early with the story-to-film format, before Pier Paolo Pasolini drove it into the absolute ground with his Zumurud bullshit. Oy vey what a failure the Il fiore delle mille e una notte was. And also an almost fanatical devotion to the pope, who fails to appear at all, absolutely at all - there's a scene where one of those awful catholic kitcsh implementations of the manga rule figures proeminentlyiii, but otherwise the omnipotent Italian church is completely absent out of this farce of a "reality such as it is".
It's not. It has absolutely nothing to do with reality and absolutely everything to do with ideology. Visconti is a socialist, which is just another way of saying "idiot", and he'd like to make everyone else a socialist too (which is to say an idiot too). Consequently, a retarded hormonal twentysomething is depicted as a sort of Christ of the oppressed, in spite of being a) exceedingly stupid and b) remarkably wrong.
The story goes something like this : Ntoni doesn't like the fact that he has to support himself by working whereas other people, better than him get to support themselves by trade. He figures this is unfair, because he works. Because he is important. Because the stupid are usually brave and rarely able to natively see the distance that separates themselves from their superiors.
Consequently, he decides to go on his own. He bullies, seduces and defrauds his entire family (15 souls) into mortgaging their house, the house which - as Visconti so pointedly narrates - had the stones worn smooth by their kin over the decades, maybe centuries. This is all well and good when some idiot throws it all away. When the time of reckoning comes, however, and the bank repossesses mind you the scandal of
socialist idiot complaint. How unfair it is suddenly that their ancestal home - which they gambled away as if it were as much straw, without a care in the world, just so as to satisfy the delusions of grandeur of whatever current idiot "in charge" - will be taken away. How evil this world which soon separates the fool from his money. How intolerable, this situation where you have to either make sense or starve, where you can't charge ahead just because you feel like it. Again and again, the thief not at all sorry he stole, but terribly terribly sorry he got caught, the socialist not at all sorry he destroyed the world but terribly terribly sorry (and even more indignant) that such destruction may be pinned on him.
And so, they mortgage it, they go on their own, they meet success in the form of a school of anchovies, which they catch and salt and keep for sale over the winter, when the prices are even better. But then there's a storm, and they... they charge ahead anyway. Because to the stupid danger is meaningless, because the socialist - not having any representation of value - is completely unable to price risk. They charge ahead, and they lose everything.
And then they starve. Oh how sad it is that some idiots starved. Oh how really Ntoni wanted to "make it better" for "everyone". Oh how "we'll have to love each other" to "progress", as if the situation where idiots are no longer run over, cut open, gutted and fillet'd is any sort of improvement.
Fuck you, Visconti. My knife, my idiot gutting knife is well sharp, and well sharpened. Every day I run it on the stone. I hope many follow your siren song, for I do not wish to live a single day without having gutted at least a few of yours with my very own hand.
The end. Forever, the same. End.———