The Truce (1997 film)

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La Tregua
Promotional Poster
Directed byFrancesco Rosi
Screenplay byStefano Rulli
Sandro Petraglia
Francesco Rosi
Story byFrancesco Rosi
Tonino Guerra
Based onThe Truce
by Primo Levi
Produced byVéra Belmont
StarringJohn Turturro
Rade Serbedzija
CinematographyPasqualino De Santis
Marco Pontecorvo
Edited byRuggero Mastroianni
Bruno Sarandrea
Music byLuis Bacalov
Distributed byWarner Bros. Italia
Release date
  • February 14, 1997 (1997-02-14)
Running time
125 minutes
Box office$1.4 million (Italy/USA)

The Truce (Italian: La Tregua) is a 1997 film directed by Francesco Rosi, who co-wrote the screenplay with Stefano Rulli and Sandro Petraglia, and its story treatment with Tonino Guerra based on Primo Levi's memoir, The Truce. The film deals with Primo Levi's experiences returning to Italy in 1945 after the Red Army liberated the concentration camp at Auschwitz during the Second World War. This was Rosi's final film before his death in 2015.


Map of the locations (with modern borders) traversed by Levi in the film.

Although liberated on January 27, 1945, Levi did not reach Turin until October 19 of that year. After spending some time in a Soviet camp for former concentration camp inmates, he embarked on an arduous journey home in the company of Italian former prisoners of war from the Italian Army in Russia. His long railway journey home to Turin took him on a circuitous route from Poland, through Russia, Romania, Hungary, Austria and Germany.



Whereas the film can be seen as belonging to the tradition of the "cinema of prose," it also contributes to the "cinema of poetry," as defined by Pier Paolo Pasolini.[1]

Brian Webster, writing for the Apollo Guide, finds the film "a war story with little violence and virtually no sentimentality. If you're not ready for it, you might find The Truce passing before your eyes without making much of an impact. It doesn't smack you in the face with a powerful message, but instead works its way inside you more gradually."[2]

The film opened on 71 screens in Italy and grossed $414,890 in its opening weekend, ranking sixth at the box office.[3] After three weeks it had grossed $1.4 million.[4] In the US and Canada it grossed $71,448.[5]


This film won the David for Best Director, Best Film and Best Producer at the David di Donatello Awards. It also won the Audience Award at the São Paulo International Film Festival.

It was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival.[6]


  1. ^ Erbaggio, Pierluigi (2007-11-18). "Francesco Rosi's The Truce (1997)". Italian Film blog. Retrieved 2007-11-19. "In fulfilling his duty of messenger of a messenger, as said before, Rosi is very assertive and didactic. In the second half of the film, in fact, in a series of short scenes, many issues related to the Holocaust are treated and apparently exhausted in a very simplistic way. ... A scene that could be qualified as a moment of Pasolinian Cinema of Poetry is the scene in which the Italian survivors watch through a window the Russian family who gave them food to eat. Uncertain about their journey and about the fate of their own families, in this scene through the deforming glasses of a window this family appears like an unreachable mirage. The deformation and the color of these images tell us about the feelings and desires of these Italian men much more than they could explain with words by themselves."
  2. ^ Bruce Webster, "Truce, The[permanent dead link]," Apollo Guide
  3. ^ "Italy Top 15". Screen International. 21 February 1997. p. 39. $1=L1,650
  4. ^ "Italy Top 15". Screen International. 7 March 1997. p. 27.
  5. ^ "The Truce (1998) - Financial Information".
  6. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Truce". Retrieved 2009-09-23.

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