It was an artistic experience for me on several levels:
- while the background sounds (footsteps, birds, church bells, babies crying, etc.) were all audible, the Italian dialogue was completely mute--so that I had the English subtitles tell me the dialogue, but I didn't hear anyone speak. It was like watching a universe of telepathic people and gave a very calming (and eerie) aspect to the film.
- the faces of the actors--who were local "peasants" according to what I've read--were amazingly expressive.
- the depiction of the rural , peasant life made me feel the chill, the damp--and I liked it. It felt gritty and healthy and real.
- the depiction of community made me very emotional; the community of tenant farmers spent the cold winter evenings in the stable, together with the livestock, telling stories, knitting, singing, saying the rosary. They sung together as they worked; they doctored each other as needed. It was so HUMAN.
- the KNITTING in the movie was breathtaking. The shawls were the likes of which I have never seen: beautiful but very sturdy and wearable. I have been thinking about them for three days, and I think I need to design one based on one that a little girl was wearing which was a round shawl that somehow didn't fall off her shoulders as she milked cows or ran across fields. I am thinking of a version of Zimmermann's Pi Are Squared shawl--or a variation on an Irish pattern that I have. And I am going to use rugged, chunky Icelandic wool.