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Angela Nugara, Vittorio Vigneri, Carmelo Maddio, Gianni Buscarino,

Adapted from Elio Vittorini's banned 1939 novel Conversazione in Sicilia, Sicilia! combines political fable with Sicilian travelogue, structured around one man's return to his village after years of exile. As he encounters his mother and others, they recite tales of personal woe and of the island's collected history of misery, corruption, and treachery. Straub and Huillet's austere formalism brings language to the forefront: each dialogue takes on a life of its own, with sentences sung like arias or flung out, creating a sense of poetry and a litany of the world's beauties and betrayals.

Jason Sanders
Followed By

Return of the Prodigal Son / Humiliated
(Il ritorno del figlio prodigo / Umiliati)

Jean-Marie Straub, Danièle Huillet, Italy, France, Germany, 2001–2003

Two companion pieces to Sicilia!, inspired by Vittorini’s 1949 novel Women of Messina, center on a community cooperative established by peasants after the war.