A tramp, haunted by a criminal past, is offered 200 francs by a stranger with one request, that when he can afford it, he return the sum to a chapel. The derelict rejoins a world he no longer knew, finding work, sleeping in beds or dining out with women. But he gets distracted from his obligation.
In May we lost one of the great Italian directors of all time, Ermanno Olmi. Best known for cinematic miracles such as Il Posto and The Tree of Wooden Clogs, we pay tribute to his humanist gaze with this deeply affecting moral parable, whose images boast an overwhelming spiritual resonance.
One of the most incredible films ever made. I will love it even after my own death. Exceptional, impeccable, touching, vivid, and dreamy. Ermanno Olmi wanted to honour Pietro Germi's "Il Ferroviere": he ended up surpassing it.
One of the greatest films ever made. Saw it when I was in Berlin, broke, and down and out...and it revived and inspired me. I had never had such a peculiarly spiritual experience when watching a film and I was moved by Rutger Hauer's beautiful performance. As good (or even better!) than Joseph Roth's stunning short story on which this film is based. Marvelous achievement.
Solid and substantial film constructed from what is essentially a simple yet intriguing premise (I'm curious to read Roth's original novella). A cyclical story, not just narratively but also of the life and world in which the characters' exist. This set-up can, when done well, be extremely cinematically propulsive, as it is here, but it also keeps tight rein on the overall pacing. Hauer's performance is captivating.
With a mesmeric & trancelike performance from Hauer, we are thrown into a world of failed dreams & uncertain futures. This film explores circular fates & inescapable destinies. To be given a second chance can sometimes only prove that certain things are inevitable & what's lost, can't always be retrieved. Full of atmosphere and sometimes theatre-like staging, this Paris based movie evokes an uncanny sense of doom.
I'm going to admit I just really struggled with this film. I found it all style and no substance. I actually just gave up after more than an hour. I'm happy to hear some comments on why other people appreciate it so much.