Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan


(Italy, 1991)

There’s a movie titled What Did You Do in the War, Daddy” that I like a lot. A group of G.I.s enter a small town in Italy, with instructions to take it. But the villagers are glad to see them. The Germans left town a few days ago, and they are happy to be liberated. It all turns into a drunken festival. It’s very funny.

This is sort of like that. A small group of Italian soldiers are dropped off on a small Greek island to act as lookouts for British and American shipping. But things go wrong. The ship is sunk, their radio is broken, and they are forgotten. The villagers are okay with the soldiers being there, and gradually they fit into village life. Years go by. They have no idea what is going on in the outside world. They don’t hear the news of Mussolini’s death and of Italy becoming part of the Allies. It’s a small, gentle movie. For some reason Roger Ebert walked out of a showing, something he seldom does. He must have had a bug up his ass that day, as there is nothing at all wrong with this movie. It won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film.