The tradition and emotion, politics and intrigue, hopes and fears, failure and fortune of a nation - all contained within one breathless, 90 second rush of excitement and adrenaline. This is the breathtaking story of Il Palio, the historic annual horse race that both unites and divides the passionate communities of Siena in the picturesque heartland of Italy. Over the course of one year, acclaimed documentary filmmaker John Appel follows the dreams of the inhabitants of one district of winning the race for the first time in over two decades. The young feel the need for glory and victory to be racing through their veins. While the elder residents desire the honour and tradition of their roots to be vindicated. All are locked in an emotional struggle that culminates in one heartstopping and nerve racking race for The Last Victory.
Egidio Mecacci, Paolo Rossi, Alma Savini, Roberto Papei, Camilla Marzucchi, Alessandro Calderan
This slow and simple documentary, detailing the lives of a few ordinary citizens of Sienna, in the build up to the greatest event of the City's year, the market place bare back horse race, is utterly serene. The pace is incredibly slow but in an interesting way. The real characters of these ordinary people are laid open to show the genuine beauty of the medieval city and its inhabitants, the race being the dramatic and intense end after the serenity of the build up.
It is probably much better if you have ever been to Sienna.