Terra Trema, La

Director: Luchino Visconti
Year Released: 1948
Rating: 4.0

What I initially feared would be propaganda by a bourgeois Communist became something much more important and vital: a truthful film about a small fishing community in Italy, and how the townspeople rally against an enterprising young man (and his family) who dares to take a stand against the slave wages given to the fishermen for their catch and go into business for himself, selling his anchovies. Visconti's direction is never false or misguided - even more amazing is the cast of nonprofessionals (Pasolini and Visconti must have cornered the market on undiscovered talent) who never overplay the material. The typically deliberate Visconti pacing is forgivable here - this is a must-see work.