While there's no denying the integrity and general accuracy of Rosi's adaptation of Primo Levi's book about his post-war odyssey back to Italy from Auschwitz, heartfelt concern for the plight of the future author and other survivors of the Nazi camps doesn't guarantee a dramatically compelling movie. To be sure, the film is sensitive enough to the psychological dilemmas and doubts facing the liberated prisoners, and never underplays the obstacles strewn along the route to spiritual rebirth; the problem, rather, stems from the fact that Turturro's Levi is essentially a loner and an observer, and therefore too passive to function as the 'hero' proposed and required by the all too conventional narrative. As a result, the film never really comes alive emotionally, and remains a rather staidly cerebral, worthy exercise.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Francesco Rosi, Sandro Petraglia, Stefano Rulli, Tonino Guerra, Véra Belmont|