Digi Beta Pal - colour
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A portrait of the Calabrian countryside, Lavoratori is a searing exploration of the peasantry’s grinding existence in one of Italy’s poorest regions, via the daily lives of two families, from milking sheep to labouring in the fields. Tommaso Cotronei focuses on the children, whose existence is governed by a strict, sometimes harsh education, and the rhythms of seasonal tasks. Playing with the animals in the meadows, they are the only ones to show any spontaneous emotion. Signs of affection are very rare, and the bonds between the generations are created more through the process of apprenticeship than through affection. The rare words heard throughout the film combine with the sounds of the countryside, the birdsong, the bleating of sheep. The tranqillity of the fields and rivers contrasts with the rigour of the men’s work, their world seemingly reduced to one of sweat and suffering.