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Baarìa - La porta del vento
Directed by Giuseppe Tornatore
Produced by Tarak Ben Ammar
Marina Berlusconi
Mario Cotone
Written by Giuseppe Tornatore
Starring Francesco Scianna
Margareth Madè
Music by Ennio Morricone
Cinematography Enrico Lucidi
Editing by Massimo Quaglia
Release date(s) September 25, 2009
Running time 2h43
Country Italy
Language Sicilian, Italian
Budget $30 million

Baarìa – La porta del vento is an upcoming Sicilian-Italian comedy film directed by Giuseppe Tornatore. It was the opening film of the 66th Venice International Film Festival in September 2009.[1] It is also the Italian entry for the 2010 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.[2]



The film seeks to recount life in the Sicilian town of Baarìa, from the 1920s to present day, through the eyes of lovers Peppino (Francesco Scianna) e Mannina (Margareth Madè). A legend thronged with heroes … A Sicilian family depicted across three generations: from Cicco to his son Peppino to his grandson Pietro… Touching lightly upon the private lives of these characters and their families, the film evokes the loves, dreams and disappointments of an entire community in the Palermo province between the ‘30s and the ‘80s of the past century: during the Fascist period, Cicco is a humble shepherd who, however, finds time to pursue his passion: books, epic poems, the great popular romance novels. In the days when people went hungry and during World War II, his son Peppino witnesses injustice and discovers a passion for politics. After the war, his fateful encounter with the woman of his life. A relationship opposed by one and all because Peppino has become a Communist. But the two young lovers will succeed in fulfilling their dream.


The film was first announced during the 2007 Taormina Film Festival.

The film was shot in both Bagheria, in the province of Palermo, Sicily and in an old neighborhood of Tunis, Tunisia; the latter location used because it could better depict what Bagheria looked like in the early 20th century.


The film has two versions, the original in the local Baariotu dialect of Sicilian (with Italian and English subtitles); the second dubbed in Italian.[3]



In Italy, the Lega Antivivisezione (an anti-animal cruelty group) has condemned[4] the actual on-screen killing of a cow visible in the Italian trailer. The animal was killed with an iron punch driven in the skull without any pain-relief technique, and then seen bleeding to death while some actors collect and drink its blood.

Such a scene could not have been shot in Italy, because of laws against the unethical treatment of animals in media production. That part of the movie was filmed in Tunisia, where there are no such restrictions.

Thereafter the ENPA (National Association of Animal Protection) demanded the immediate withdrawal of all copies distributed in theatres "to avoid the exposition of minors to such disgusting and fearful images", as the film is rated for an unrestricted audience. Again according to the ENPA, although the scene was filmed in Tunisia thus bypassing the Italian law, after application to the Minister of Justice, the prosecution can still take place in Italy.[5] In October 2009, the ENPA started an international boycott campaign against the film and an online petition asking to revoke the designation of the movie as Italian entry to the Oscars.[6]

Responding to these critics, director Giuseppe Tornatore clarified that the location in Tunisia was not intended to bypass Italian regulations, and that the animal was not specifically killed for the film. The scene was filmed in a local slaughterhouse and the killing was one of the many that take place there every day.[7].


  1. ^ "BBC News:Venice announces Italian opener". BBC News. 2009-06-11. Retrieved 2009-06-11.  
  2. ^ "Italy picks 'Baaria' as Oscar entry". Retrieved 2009-09-30.  
  3. ^ (Italian)"Dialetto o doppiaggio? Tornatore inaugura Venezia con un giallo" - Corriere della Sera 9/2/2009
  4. ^ (Italian)"'Baaria': bovino ucciso nel film, perché?"
  5. ^ (Italian)L'Enpa: ritirate «Baarìa» da tutte le sale - Corriere della Sera, 2 ottobre 2009
  6. ^ (Italian) [1] NO ALL'OSCAR INSANGUINATO
  7. ^ (Italian) [2] La Stampa (online edition), 30 settembre 2009

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