Even if slightly marred by some rough editing, this is, nonetheless, among the Tavianis' best films. Chronicling struggles in 19th century Italy, it tackles the role of the (class-privileged) leader, the issue of revolutionary tactics, and the problem of coalitions and class-consciousness. Featuring a great ensemble its collective set pieces are vividly portrayed and the treatment of utopia is masterly depicted.
More than being a film, "everything must change, to remain the same" (like in "Il Gattopardo", showing the oppression still remains, just replacing the aristocrats for the bourgeoisie), this film is before the revolution. The struggle between the aristocratic and bourgeoisie mind, in the name of the people. Why they are fighting for? In the name of who? Seeing the ashes and disillusion of a future unfulfilled.
A direct rebuttal to the singing revolutionaries of Les Mis. Here we see the many ways in which a revolution can fail to gain a foothold, no matter how much you dance while trying to educate the masses.
Deeply cynical, very relevant. Outisde of a few stylistic flourishes not a great film though