Two years in a row, the Palme d’Or went to Italian films: the Taviani brothers’ Padre Padrone in 1977 and this splendid rural epic from Ermanno Olmi. Like La Dolce Vita, this was a three-hour fresco, but hopeful, not skeptical. A village of farmers, under the boot of their master, sacrifice to send a bright child to school. That child might have been Olmi, who’s been making films since 1953 without losing his love of the land and the peasants who till it.
Top 10 Cannes Film Festival Movies
The prestigious Cannes Film Festival was founded in 1946. TIME's Richard Corliss reflects on its most noteworthy premieres.