Padre Padrone (Father and Master). 1977. Italy. Written and directed by Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani. In Italian; English subtitles. 114 min.
The Taviani brothers first established their international reputation with this powerful film based on an autobiographical novel by Gavino Ledda, who escaped an impoverished childhood in Sardinia to become an accomplished linguist. Ledda himself introduces the film by passing the stick used by his father, an illiterate shepherd who can conceive no other future for his son than following the family tradition, to the actor (Omero Antonutti) who will play him. The primal conflict between an authoritarian father and a rebellious son is carefully situated by the Tavianis within a specific culture and a specific landscape, which paradoxically serves to make the struggle seem more timeless. Courtesy RAI.