Patience! Olmi’s little seen, much misunderstood film – purportedly his last feature – is a bizarre, elegant gem shifting surprisingly but seamlessly from a faintly noir, semi-satirical look at a university library’s desecration – fuelling fears of religious/political terrorism – to a pastoral fable about the priestlike culprit’s redemptive refuge in the Po valley. Who is this man, violently abandoning book-learning? A saviour to folks facing environmental exploitation? Not unlike a latterday, more effective ‘Miracle in Milan’, this profoundly Catholic, profoundly personal fable veers, like many Olmi films, between the seemingly inept and the spellbindingly innocent, magical in its tenderness, its striking visuals and its unpredictability. Don’t miss – but give it time.
Cast and crew