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This is a journey of initiation and a political metaphor, despite the note claiming the action could take place in Persia or Venezuela instead of Sicily. Yet it is definitely through Sicily that Silvestro, the film's narrator and main protagonist "journeys in the fourth dimension," as he said as a child. Not only to rediscover the places, words, people, sensations, sounds, smells and questions of that seven-year old boy, but to rediscover himself as well as his childhood and native land.
Dear Danielle, dear Jean-Marie,
Those friendly-angry voices, Catania, Syracuse, the tough beautiful clothes, bright eyes, gentle lively lips, the dance of the knife grinder, the lisping which rends the soul of a man returning to his birthplace, the empty seats in the train, the discourse on love (a tale!), the railroad track, walking, eating, the food (I've just tasted some capers from the island of Pantelleria), the beautiful shapes of the chairs, the bread, the wine, the winter melon, the baritone (!) and the great Elio Vittorini (very moving, his photo at the end): you have made me rediscover film, shown me cinema again, made it explode in my heart as though for the very first time. "Sicilia!" is a pinnacle of your œuvre, the summit of anger, gentleness and rhythm. Greetings from your friend Peter Handke!
Peter Handke – Author, excerpt from the press folder