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Bandits of Orgosolo (Banditi a Orgosolo)

Bandits of Orgosolo (Banditi a Orgosolo)

Bandits of Orgosolo (Banditi a Orgosolo)

Dir. Vittorio De Seta
93 min

Bandits of Orgosolo (Banditi a Orgosolo)

Saturday, February 17 at 4:00pm

Highlighting restored, archival, and silent cinema from Il Cinema Ritrovato's annual festival in Bologna, Italy.

About Bandits of Orgosolo (Banditi a Orgosolo)

I vividly remember seeing Banditi at the New York Film Festival in the early 1960s. It was one of the most unusual and extraordinary films I had ever seen. It’s a simple story: a shepherd, unjustly accused of a crime, is chased through an arid and silent landscape. His sheep starve, and, destitute, he is forced to become a bandit. The story, however, is also the story of an island and its people. Set on the mountains of Barbagia, in Sardinia, the film reveals an archaic world, unspoiled by society. Its people speak an ancient dialect and live according to prehistoric laws. They see the modern world as foreign and hostile. In them, De Seta found the vestiges of an old society through which a nobility shone through. I remember being impressed by the style of the film. Neorealism had been taken to another level, where the director’s participation in his narrative was so total that the line between form and content was obliterated and the events dictated the form. De Seta’s sense of rhythm, his use of the camera, his extraordinary ability to merge his characters to their environment was a complete revelation. It was as if De Seta were an anthropologist who spoke with the voice of a poet. –Martin Scorsese

Ridding his film of all dramatic structure, and limiting himself to revealing relations of force without endeavoring to derive pathetic promptings from it, in sum, recounting an event without flourishes and in the way in which things very probably went, De Seta eliminates all obstacles separating him from what he is looking for: the achievement of awareness. The itinerary that a simple being has to take in order to attain revolt, hence self-dignity and dignity as a man, is connected to that taken by De Seta’s directing. In his film nothing is a priori a pleasant sight to see. Neither the characters, nor the sheep, nor even the landscapes are destined to please. But, in accordance with Visconti’s idea, De Seta reveals their original greatness with fine and simple images. Under his Virgilian appearance, De Seta invites us to condemn an order of things which permits the degradation of natural order. –Jean Douchet, Cahiers du cinéma, n. 124, October 1961

This film is courtesy of The Film Foundation

Returning to the Twin Cities for a second year, Il Cinema Ritrovato on Tour presents rare, restored, and recovered archival cinema. Il Cinema Ritrovato On Tour–Minneapolis will screen films at The Main Cinema from February 15–17, 2024. Closing night (February 18) will take place at the Heights Theater and will feature a new restoration of Ernst Lubitsch’s take on an Oscar Wilde classic, Lady Windermere’s Fan.

Presented in partnership by Archives on Screen, Twin Cities, MSP Film Society, and Cineteca di Bologna, the festival will screen highlights from Il Cinema Ritrovato’s 2023 lineup. Il Cinema Ritrovato is an annual international film festival that exhibits new restorations and archival films in Bologna, Italy.

Archives on Screen is proud to partner with Il Cinema Ritrovato and Cineteca di Bologna to curate selections from their festival for Twin Cities audiences.


Film Details

Program: Il Cinema Ritrovato On Tour
Release Year: 1961
Runtime: 93 min
Country/Region: Italy
Language: Italian


Director: Vittorio De Seta
Cinematographer: Vittorio De Seta, Luciano Tovoli
Screenwriter: Vittorio De Seta, Vera Gherarducci
Editor: Jolanda Benvenuti
Composer: Valentino Bucchi
Principal Cast: Michele Cossu (Michele Jossu), Peppeddu Cossu (Peppeddu Jossu), Vittorina Pisano (Montonia) and other Sardinian shepherds