Last night I watched, for the second time, the Italian film “Torneranno I prati,” which has been translated into “Greenery will bloom again” .
It is an anti-war film written and directed by Ermanno Olmi, our “Poet of Silence” and the son of a WW1 vet, in 2014, a hundred years after the start of the First World War
It is not a combat film, set in the trenches of the Asiago plateau in the space of one single snowy night, depicting the physical and emotional torment of Italian soldiers in the barracks.
Those scruffy men, who have to sleep on boards are burrowed in an outpost in the freezing cold, they confront their loneliness in the long idle moments of the war and try to find some hope. The contrast between the darkly lit trench interiors – that portray a condition of claustrophobic madness – and the vast white landscape is striking.
The peaceful scenery of the snowy mountains becomes a place of death after a major arrives and forces the captain and his men to follow a meaningless, suicidal order. They will die, and will be buried in the snow, where they will stay until the arrival of spring.
The final tagline reads: “War is an ugly beast that wanders the earth and never comes to a halt”.