The Profession of Arms

Movies, Action and adventure
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To follow the first half of Olmi's dense narrative - charting developments in the 16th century war between the Papal army and an invading German force - it'd be wise to do some historical research beforehand: so swiftly and persistently are we bombarded by names, dates, facts and figures, that the only theme to emerge with any clarity is that of war, the world and our view of life and our fellow men having been transformed (for the worse, naturally) by the development of firearms. Thereafter, however, things slow down to focus more closely on the heroic captain Giovanni de' Medici, wounded by a cannonball and bravely facing amputation; here, Olmi's historical rigour still pertains, but, in being applied to an individual's experiences, rather than that of society at large, allows for a more accessible meditation on courage, mortality, love and loyalty. A very fine film, then, but also, for a while, extremely, even excessively demanding.

By: GA

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Cast and crew

Director: Ermanno Olmi
Screenwriter: Ermanno Olmi
Cast: Hristo Jivkov
Sergio Grammatico
Dimitar Ratchkov
Fabio Giubbani
Sasa Vulicevic
Dessy Tenekedjieva
Sandra Ceccarelli
Giancarlo Belelli