(February 2nd - 5th, 2015)
Film Director Ermanno Olmi shows war’s senselessness, presenting First World War Italian soldiers as simple human beings and moving the audience beyond any religion, ideology or nationalistic identification.
The Berlinale Special Gala is the festival’s section where pieces of works of great impact, created by international artists are presented. The movies are shown in the Friedrichstadt-Palast, the Zoo Palast and the Kino International.
In addition to movies like Bill Pohlad’s ‘Love & Mercy’ with John Cusack, Ava DuVernay’s ‘Selma’ and Anton Corbijn’s ‘Life’, one could not miss Ermanno Olmi’s masterpiece, in which many popular Italian actors were involved: Claudio Santamaria, Alessandro Sperduti, Francesco Formichetti and Andrea Di Maria.
The movie is set on the Nord-Est front-line in the Italian Alps during the First World War and shows the turbulent lives of Italian soldiers.
Entirely set in an Italian trench, the beginning of the film shows a soldier standing on the high plain in the snow and singing a folk song from his home in the dark of the night. The power of this scene is great: it represents a break from the fight, during which the soldier sings not only for his own unit and for himself, but also for their enemies.
The movie goes on to show the soldiers’ fear, resignation, desolation, sickness and death, all represented with black-and-white photography and an alternation of silence and loud war noises.
In this setting, war’s harshness is in opposition with nature’s beauty. The movie’s title itself, “Greenery Will Bloom Again”, represents the man’s hope of a return to peace. After a snowy winter, spring always returns.