Requiescant (1967)

Requiescant (1967) – Spaghetti Western by left wing radicals!

The adopted son of a preacher comes upon a village that is under the thumb of a deranged ex-Confederate officer, who is – among other things – stealing land from the locals with phony land grants.

Spaghetti Westerns were made by left wing radicals. I couldn’t believe how dense the political/social message was. EVERY little scene, EVERYTHING is there for symbolic value. And the story isn’t that bad as I never felt it dragging. So preachy, such a thin story, it should have become tedious. It never did. I usually watch the classics in installments to get every detail, but I watched this one start to end because I couldn’t stop watching it. I couldn’t believe he had made such a pure vehicle for talking about class struggle, the role of violence, when should violence be used, how does doing so change the person, etc., etc., etc.

You can certainly argue that that’s not a valid way to make any kind of Western. But if you like Spaghetti Westerns for that reason, this is not to be missed because you will never find another that is so straight-ahead about what it’s doing. Lizzani basically said, “Damn it, I’m tired of pussy footing around with a few abstract comparisons. Let’s lay it all right out there”. Most the other reviews on this are like reading Alice in Wonderland and saying, “That doesn’t seem very realistic. How can that be about logic?” But I’m not complaining. It was very nice to be so pleasantly surprised after having very low expectations.

Director: Carlo Lizzani
Writers: Renato Izzo
Stars: Lou Castel, Mark Damon, Pier Paolo Pasolini

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