The main character Ntoni Valastro (Antonio Arcidiacono) is a Sicilian fisherman fighting for justice and human nobility of his own and the other workers. Here, we see him happy – a rare moment in his life. With incredible difficulties he collected money to buy a new boat, and for a while he believes that he’ll have a chance to become married and even successful person.


Here, the family has returned from a whole day of work. We see Ntoni right in the middle, in the background, bent over the washtub.


Visconti makes Ntoni always present among the people as a kind of the collective soul. But it’s not by chance that sometimes it’s difficult to recognize him in the stills – it’s, as if, his role really to be the living soul of people’s life. This is Visconti’s creative solution of cinematic representation of the Ntoni. From the one side he is an authoritative figure amidst other fishermen – a democratic leader and organizer of the community, yet at the same time he is just like everybody else.


During one of their fishing trip the fishermen hit a storm, and Ntoni lost his boat – he had to sell what was left of it to a businessman. Here, we see him after losing the only thing that made it possible for them to fish at the sea, as if, alien to his old boat, to fishing, to his habitual life – as if, semi-existent.


Step by step Ntoni has lost his optimism, endurance, interest in life. We can barely discern him here after he wasn’t helped – was betrayed by the richer fishermen and came to be tormented by hopelessness and despair.


Eventually, after several years, when many members of his family have left (fled) in search for job somewhere else, we can see Ntoni, when under the influence of his youngest brother who is looking at Ntoni as if, mutely asking him to go to and ask those very people who betrayed him – for work. And Ntoni overcame himself and doing it for the sake of those) who have the right to live.

The film is dedicated to the democratic fight of the poor people for their dignity and in this sense is metaphoric history of our times (US in 20th – 21st century). Pauperized, desperate and angry, Ntoni is capable of finding in himself the power of vitality and love of life. Life is not destroyed when other people destroy it. Life can continue when only one person is able to recover the spirit of justice. Ntoni, as if, restored life by overcoming his own deadly despair. By triumphing over his insults and torments by asserting his taste for decency – justice and equality he is saving the life in general and not only his own ability to live.