La Terra Trema

La Terra Trema


La Terra Trema is a work of uncompromising realism that is universally acknowledged as a masterpiece of post-war Italian cinema. Entirely set and shot in a small village on the east coast of Sicily and using non-professional actors, it tells the story of a fishing family which attempts to escape from poverty and exploitation by becoming the owner of its own boat. To acquire the boat the family is forced to mortgage its house but the boat is destroyed in a storm and the family is ruined. However, the film ends on a hopeful note, with the community able to learn from the events and succeed together in overthrowing exploitation.

La Terra Trema instantly reveals the quality of Visconti's direction, particularly in the sheer beauty of the images and the vibrant performances he achieved from the villagers. Many of its themes recur in Visconti's later work but nowhere else are they so firmly anchored in realism and respect for life. Upon the film's release, the Valestro family, who were the main participants, wrote to Visconti expressing deep gratitude to him for telling their story to Italy and the world.

Special Features

- Director’s biography