Thursday, February 28, 2013

Gli ultimi (The Last, 1963)

Director: Vito Pandolfi
Label: La Cineteca del Friuli (2012)
Format: DVD / PAL / Region 0
Aspect ratio: 1.66:1 b/w
Audio: Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono)
Subtitles: English, Spanish

* Contains both the theatrical version (86 minutes) and the director's cut (92 minutes)
* 1963 interview with screenwriter Father David Maria Turoldo (18 minutes, in English)
* Screen tests (20 minutes, mostly silent footage)

Available on and

What's the film about?
Set in Northern Italy during the '30s, the film depicts the drama of emigration as seen through the eyes of a child shepherd. Shot entirely on location, with no professional actors, this is a moving piece of anthropological cinema, but its images also have a highly lyrical quality, well served by Armando Nannuzzi's cinematography.

...if you enjoyed Ermanno Olmi's The Tree of Wooden Clogs, you should have a look at this.



  1. The Award for Best DVD of the year at the Bologna Cinema Ritrovato to Gli Ultimi. It was made in the Friuli region in 1963 and not long after fell into obscurity. Friuli, a northern province which was Pasolini’s birthplace, has its own Cineteca and it supervised the restoration work and commissioned the 150 page publication, only in Italian, that accompanies the DVD. The film itself is a sensitive story of a young peasant boy growing up in the depression years of the 30s. The son of a farm labourer he tends several sheep, is mercilessly bullied at school and lives with his family in dirt poor surroundings. The family diet is polenta (il cibo della miseria) and vegetables. The village is hollowing out as most of the able bodied men have headed for Belgium to work in the coal mines. Fascism gets only a brief nod via a ranter in the local pub. The black and white photography by Armando Nannuzzi is beautiful to behold. Singling the film out for this attention had one immediate positive effect. Nobody having heard of it there was a run on the available copies being offered at the Cineteca’s book and DVD stall and it sold out quickly.

  2. Thank you very much for your detailed comment. I was in Bologna and I posted the DVD Awards ceremony video.
    (I will now add your comment to the post)