Primarily an account of the tough life led by Sicilian fishermen, this haunting and beautiful film by one of the fathers of Italian neo-realism is also a polemic which conveys the villagers' sense of frustration and injustice as they struggle for sustenance in the face of unscrupulous businessmen. In a moving postscript to the film's release, the Valestro family, the main participants in the film, wrote to Visconti as follows. 'The Family Valestro wishes to express publicly its gratitude to Luchino Visconti and his collaborators for making their story known to Italy and the world through La Terra Trema. We are profoundly grateful for the experience we underwent together, from which we have reaped the highest hopes for our future.
Antonio Arcidiacono, Giuseppe Arcidiacono, Venera Bonaccorso, Nicola Castorino, Rosa Catalano, Rosa Costanzo, Alfio Fichera, Carmela Fichera, Rosario Galvagno, Agnese Giammona, Nelluccia Giammona, Giovanni Greco, Ignazio Maccarone, Giovanni Maiorana, Antonino Micale, Maria Micale, Concettina Mirabella, Angelo Morabito, Pasquale Pellegrino, Alfio Valastro
One of the Greatest Italian Films.
- La Terra Trema review by Steve Mason
Visconti's Marxist Neo Realist masterpiece focuses on the poverty and criminal exploitation of Sicilian fishermen. Very involving and utterly heartbreaking.
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The earth trembles but nothing changes.
- La Terra Trema review by RhysH
Visconti films every shot with precision and awful beauty, there is not a frame out of place. This is the real life of the exploited working-class fishermen in Sicily in 1948, The actors, the real people of the village, show their story with genuine sincerity. They speak their language and every word is a cri de couer. Nothing overblown about the storytelling and nothing sanitised about the ending.