Padre Padrone

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Padre Padrone
Padre padrone1.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPaolo Taviani
Vittorio Taviani
Written byStory:
Gavino Ledda
Paolo Taviani
Vittorio Taviani
Produced byGiuliani G. De Negri
StarringOmero Antonutti
CinematographyMario Masini
Edited byRoberto Perpignani
Music byEgisto Macchi
Distributed byRadiotelevisione Italiana
Cinema 5 Distributing (USA)
Artificial Eye (UK)
Release dates
June 1977
December 23, 1977
(New York Film Festival)
Running time
114 minutes

Padre Padrone is a 1977 Italian film directed by Paolo Taviani and Vittorio Taviani. The Tavianis used both professional and non-professional actors from the Sardinian countryside.[1] The title (pronounced [ˈpaːdre pa'drone]) literally means "Father Master";[2] it has been translated as My Father, My Master[3] or Father and Master.[4][5]

The drama was originally filmed by the Taviani brothers for Italian television but won the 1977 Palme d'Or prize at the 1977 Cannes Film Festival.[6][7]

The film depicts a Sardinian shepherd who is terrorized by his domineering father and tries to escape by educating himself. He eventually becomes a celebrated linguist. The drama is based on an autobiographical book of the same title by Gavino Ledda.


The film opens in documentary style at the elementary school in Siligo that six-year-old Gavino (Saverio Marconi) is attending. His tyrannical peasant father (Omero Antonutti) barges in and announces to the teacher and the students that Gavino must leave school and tend the family sheep. Under his father's watchful eyes and the victim of his sadistic behavior, Gavino passes the next fourteen years tending sheep in the Sardinian mountains. There he begins to discover “things” for himself and to rebel against his father.

Gavino is rescued from his family and his isolation when he is called for military service. During his time with the army he learns about electronics, the Italian language and classical music, yearning all the while for a university education.

When Gavino returns home, he declares to his father that he will attend university. His father is against this and tells him that he will throw him out of the family home. They have a nasty fight, but Gavino eventually attends university and emerges as a brilliant student. He becomes a linguist, specializing in the origins of the Sardinian language.

The film ends in documentary style again as Gavino Ledda himself tells why he wrote his book and what Sardinian children may expect as inhabitants of a rural area with close ties to the land.



Critical reception[edit]

Janet Maslin, film critic for The New York Times, praised the film and wrote, "Padre Padrone is stirringly affirmative. It's also a bit simple: The patriarchal behavior of Gavino's father is so readily accepted as an unfathomable given constant that the film never offers much insight into the man or the culture that fostered him. Intriguingly aberrant behavior is chalked up to tradition, and thus robbed of some of its ferocity. But the film is vivid and very moving, coarse but seldom blunt, and filled with raw landscapes that underscore the naturalness and inevitability of the father-son rituals it depicts."[8]

Variety magazine wrote, "Around the initiation of a seven-year-old boy into the lonely life of sheep herder until his triumphant rift at the age of 20 with a remarkably overbearing father-patriarch (Omero Antonutti), the Taviani brothers have for the most part succeeded in adapting a miniature epic...In a long final part, accenting the boy's iron will to learn right up to a high school diploma, the final showdown between patriarch and rebel son is perhaps a more consequent narrative."[9]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 100% based on 6 reviews with an average score of 7.3/10.[10]





  1. ^ Padre padrone at IMDb.
  2. ^ French, Philip (23 September 2007). "Padre Padrone". the Guardian.
  3. ^ "PADRE PADRONE: My Father My Master by Gavino Ledda - Kirkus Reviews".
  4. ^ "Padre Padrone (Father and Master). 1977. Written and directed by Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani - MoMA". The Museum of Modern Art.
  5. ^ "Padre Padrone".
  6. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Padre Padrone". Retrieved 2009-05-10.
  7. ^ Curran, Daniel, ed. Foreign Films, film review and analysis of Padre Padrone, page 135, 1989. Evanston, Illinois: Cinebooks. ISBN 0-933997-22-1.
  8. ^ Maslin, Janet. The New York Times, film review, "Man's Inhumanity to Son," December 24, 1977. Last accessed: December 31, 2007.
  9. ^ Variety. Film review, December 24, 1977. Last accessed: December 31, 2007.
  10. ^ "Padre Padrone (1977)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved April 22, 2017.
  11. ^ "Ente David di Donatello - Accademia del Cinema Italiano". Archived from the original on 21 October 2013. Retrieved 14 January 2011.

External links[edit]