Intelligent and stimulating, La Cecilia is based on the story of the colony set up in Brazil in 1890 by a group of Italian anarchists. The colony lasted about three years, and Comolli's account, drawing on original sources, examines its development and eventual collapse. Documenting both external pressures and internal tensions, the film lucidly considers what kind of political organisation is needed in a supposedly collective situation, and the kind of obstacles that occur. Comolli creates no villains to pin the blame on; the fact that one can retain emotional solidarity with the colonists makes the immediate relevance of the questions raised all the more apparent and thought-provoking.
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