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Terraferma [Blu-ray]

6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Set on and around a summer tourist island off the coast of Sicily, Terraferma tells the story of two struggling, yet disparate families, whose members become fatefully intertwined. A well-intentioned, but illegal rescue of immigrant boat people forces the individuals of the indigenous family to choose between their economic survival and doing the morally right thing. Bonus features: Making-of Featurette, Theatrical Trailer.

Product Details

  • Actors: n, a
  • Directors: Emanuele Crialese
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Cohen Media Group
  • DVD Release Date: January 14, 2014
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00GA3R5H2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,768 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Paul Allaer TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 20, 2013
Format: DVD
"Terraferma" (2011 release from Italy); 90 min.) brings the story of a community on a small Italian island that is heavily dependent on tourism and fishing for its economic well-being/survival. As the movie opens, we get to know a family, from the old man/granpa Ernesto down to his daughter-in-law/widow Giulietta (we later learn that Ernesto's son disappeared at seas 3 years ago), and to her 20 yr. old son Filippo. The island is getting ready for the upcoming all-important 2 month tourist season, and the family decides to rent out their house to make some extra money. Then one day out at sea, Ernesto and Filippo run into a raft full of boat people from Africa. About 6 or 7 of them jump into the water and swim towards Ernesto's boat. Despite clear instructions from the Italian Coast Guard not to help, Ernesto takes them onto his boat. At this point we are only 30 min. into the movie, but to tell you more would ruin your viewing experience. You'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Several comments: first and foremost, this is a poignant family drama, focusing both on the harsh conditions of the small Italian community on that island, and the even harsher realities of the boat people trying to make it to Europe at all cost. While I am no "advocate" of illegal immigration, you can't help but feel sorry for these boat people. In particular the background story of the high-pregnant monther who gives birth to a baby only hours after being rescued from the water, will hit you hard. Second, the movie pits the moral dilemma of the Italian community very clearly. Ernesto (who lost a son at sea) explains to Filippo that, according to the laws of the sea, nobody is ever left behind out in the open waters, regardless of the circumstances.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tommy Dooley TOP 500 REVIEWER on January 15, 2014
Format: DVD
Set on the very small Sicilian island of Lampedusa we meet Ernesto (Mimmo Cuticchio - ‘Baaria’) who is one of the last men making a living out of fishing the ever depleted waters of the Mediterranean. He is accompanied by his grandson Filippo - played by Filippo Pucillo –‘Respiro’. The boat is rotting and would be worth more being broken up but Ernesto is a traditionalist. Meanwhile Fillipo’s mother decides that they need to cash in on the tourist trade that is helping keep the island alive.

Mother, Giulietta played beautifully by Donatella Finocchiaro (‘On the way home’ and ‘Baaria’) does up their home and moves into the garage. Then on a last fishing trip Ernesto and Filippo come across a boat of illegal immigrants that have sailed from Africa. The boat is dangerously over loaded and some of the people jump in the water to try to access Ernesto’s boat. Under a controversial Italian law it is illegal to aid ‘illegal’s’. Ernesto though is made of sterner stuff and the law of the sea says you do not leave someone to their fate. He rescues a pregnant mother and her young boy. The consequences of his actions will bring repercussions that will come to affect the whole island.

This is from director Emanuele Crialese who has brought us ‘Golden Door’ and ‘Respiro’, he has an eye for a camera angle and presents us here with both a scintillating story and a visual treat. Some of the scenes having a symmetry and poise that belies how hard it must have been to direct such interesting shots. He also delves into the collective consciousness of a people faced with doing what goes against their natural instincts and a country that is finding it increasingly hard to cope with the influx of illegal immigration.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tsuyoshi on November 22, 2013
Format: DVD
Set in today’s Linosa Island, the second largest island of the Pelagie Islands that are located in the Mediterranean Sea (far south of the mainland of Italy), Emanuele Crialese’s drama “Mainland” (“Terraferma”) follows the life of a young local Filippo (Filippo Pucillo), 20-year-old son of a struggling family.

While his grandfather, 70-year-old fisherman Ernesto (Mimmo Cuticchio) sticks to the traditional way of life, his uncle Nino (Giuseppe Fiorello) has turned to tourism, and his mother Giulietta (Donatella Finocchiaro), who really wants to leave the island and starts a new life elsewhere, rents out rooms for three travelers from the northern Italy, including a young and beautiful girl Maura (Martina Codecasa).

Then a certain event happens. While out at the seas, Filippo and his grandfather save illegal immigrants from Africa including an Ethiopian named Sara (Timnit T.) and her son, and hide them from the authorities. What his family is doing is against the law, Filippo learns, while his grandfather believes it is his duty to save their lives.

While the film tackles modern-day Italy’s social reality including North-South divide and migration (Timnit T. playing Sara is a real-life immigrant who survived the travel), the film also attempts to be a coming-of-age drama about growing pains by following the changes that happen inside Filippo.

The film’s main theme involves several social issues; however, “Mainland” in fact works most effectively as a drama of a young man who has to make his decision on his own, and his family members whose values are severely tested in the face of reality.
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