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PADRE PADRONE

Italy, 1977 (MIFF 1978)

Director: Paolo and Vittorio Taviani

Set in the mountains of Sardinia, Padre Padrone explores the childhood and adolescence of boys who are compelled to leave school and spend years in isolation as sheep-herders.

Gavino is at school in the village of Siligo, but at the age of six, he is taken away by his father, Efisio. They go off into the mountains and when he tries to run away, he is beaten. Years of lonely, arduous work follow as he minds his father's sheep.

He meets strangers and buys an old accordion from them, which he keeps hidden from his father and uses to help pass the time He attempts, with other young men, to emigrate to Germany, but is frustrated by his father's trickery.

Then his father tells him that he is selling his land and sends Gavino into the army to learn a trade. In the army he begins to make friends and take up his education. He studies for is high school diploma, learns Italian, and begins to understand the peculiar nature of his own childhood experience in Sardinia.

When Gavino leaves the army to study for a degree, his father works him so hard that he fails his examinations He then confronts his father in a final attempt to overcome the tyranny of the father-master.

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