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TRUCE, THE

SYNOPSIS:
This is the story of homecoming for Primo Levi (John Turturro), a young Italian chemist, who was a prisoner at Auschwitz. At the end of the war, when Primo is released, the journey home to Turin, Italy, is a long one. Together with an assortment of travelling companions, Primo struggles to find his way, to rediscover life, as well as coping with the realities of travelling from Poland to Italy post war.

"This powerful film is an obvious labour of love from Francesco Rosi. With great cinematic skill, this true and moving story is of the fear that freedom brings and the steep return journey to Ďnormalí life, after the experience of Auschwitz. John Turturro is extraordinary as Primo, the pharmacist, anxious to return home to Italy. His performance is soulful, moody, empathetic and totally convincing. The journey of his survival is rediscovering the simplest of things: how to laugh and cry, to come to terms with the horror witnessed, rediscovering his sexuality, embracing camaraderie. His friendship with The Greek (masterfully played by Rade Serbedzija) is complex and succinctly explained: "the master at dawn, the teacher at noon, the older brother by dusk." Although serious in content with many haunting and disturbing images, The Truce is not a depressing film by any means. It embarks on a journey of hope. Luis Bacalovís rousing and spirited musical score reflects much of the passion and nostalgia experienced: soulful violins, heavenly flutes, heralding trumpets and oomphy orchestrations that allow our emotions and sensitivities to be touched. Music knows no boundaries or wars. Hearing strains of Vivaldiís Four Seasons, while watching a flock of geese wander wild, is a feast for eyes, ears and the soul. The scene at Munich railway station, where Primo has the courage to ask for retribution from a German railway worker, is one that passes without a word, but is so effective. Primo moves his jacket, revealing his Auschwitz identification number: the German acknowledges him on his bended knees. This is a journey that glimpses the very worst, and also the finest of the human spirit. Donít miss it."
Louise Keller

"While marvelling at the many fine things in this film (all the ones Louise mentions above), one could be forgiven for a criticism about the tone of the film, which is both overly reverential of the central character, Primo Levi, and gives a rather self satisfied view of him, ending up preaching to us Ė unnecessarily - in the final scene. Not that it isnít deserved, but the stringency of understatement is missing. This is the only niggling and consistent weakness in a film which establishes Turturro as a truly great actor. The scale of the production is impressive and creatively excellent: the exteriors of post war Europe are achingly evocative, and the attention to detail in costuming and make up are the best that Italian filmmakers can deliver. So is the photography of De Santis. It is a tragic and curious footnote that in 1987, just one week after agreeing to the filming of his book recounting these experiences, Primo Levi took his own life. Perhaps that had some (subconscious?) influence on director Francesco Rosiís treatment."
Andrew L. Urban



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TRUCE, THE (M15+)
(Italy)

CAST: John Turturro, Massimo Ghini, Rade Serbedzija, Stefano Dionisi, Teco Celio, Roberto Citran, Claudio Bisio,Andy Luotto, Agnieszka Wagner, Lorenza Indovina, Maryna Gerasymenko, Igor Bezgin, Alexandr Iljin, Viacheslav Olhovsky, Anatoliy Vassilev

DIRECTOR: Francesco Rosi

PRODUCER: Leo Pescarolo, Guido De Laurentiis

SCRIPT: Francesco Rosi, Stefano Rulli, Sandro Petraglia (based on the book by Primo Levi; from a screen adaptation by Francesco Rosi and Tonino Guerra)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Pasqualino De Santis and Marco Pontecorvo

EDITOR: Ruggero Mastroianni

MUSIC: Luis Bacalov

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Andrea Crisanti

RUNNING TIME: 115 minutes

AWARDS: 1997 Cannes Film Festival, Official Selection in Competition; 41st David Di Donatello Awards, Winner Best Film, Best Director and Best Editing.

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Palace

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: October 16, 1997 (Sydney & Melbourne only; other states to follow)







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