Yesterday I spent three hours watching The Tree of Wooden Clogs.
At the end I was near tears. Yet, what I felt was deeper than tears. No, it was not sad. But so deeply human. It touched something inside me that I am finding hard to write about. The critic Andrew Sarris said "to see this is to be stirred to the depths of one's soul."
The music - Bach's music on the organ - the people - such a variety of humanity with such beautiful faces.
And such community. I have rarely seen such community in a film. About six peasant families living together.
And the church and all the prayers and the children and their mothers saying the Rosary at bedtime.
Memorable scenes - the father cutting down a tree to make a new clog for his little boy who had to walk miles to school. The grandfather going out on a snowy night to put chicken droppings underneath the snow so he could plant and have the first tomatoes in the spring. The widowed mother of 8 going into the church with some water to ask the Virgin Mary to bless it and give her a miracle so she could save her cow.
What was the plot? This was no suspense thriller. No Hollywood big name stars. No computer enhanced scenery.
Just simple Lombardy peasants going about life trying to make a go of it, with joy and with sorrow, yes, and with love and with faith.
If you want a real review, get someone else. There are a lot of good ones on the internet.
All I can say is that it was a very beautiful film and I loved it.
I can't believe I sat still for 3 hours!