Movie is set in Turin, Italy in the post-war poverty era of the 50's and 60's. Two Sicilian brothers immigrate to Turin - the elder is illiterate and the younger with promise to become a teacher and professor.
Movie is divided into six stories over the 1958 to 1964 time period titled (1) Arrivals, (2) Betrayals, (3) Money, (4) Blood, (5) Families. Giovanni, the older brother, moves from a kind hearted man in poverty to a tough labor boss who acquires influence (and not always with clean hands) to a family man trying to put his unsavory (?) past behind him.
Meanwhile Pietro, the younger brother, struggles to meet his older brother's admiration and expectations - he's shifty, he lies, he cuts class, he steals, he fails school - and all w/o his older brother's knowledge who is toiling in low paid jobs to pay for his brother's expenses. Pietro eventually eventually pulls it out and becomes the brother taking the high road.
The Brothers' love for one another, the secrets that they keep from each other, the different path that each man takes - all make this a fascinating story. However, I found that the movie left a number of nagging gaps for me in the story-line and character understanding/definition driving my movie rating.