Le Quattro Volte

  • U
  • Michelangelo Frammartino (2010)
  • It / Ger / Swi
  • 84 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
5 out of 5

Taken simply, this is a poetic treatise on the cycle of life that centres on an ailing goatherd and one of his mischievous flock, a felled fir tree and a charcoal kiln. However, Michelangelo Frammartino also shows how the changing seasons in a remote part of Calabria help explain Pythagoras's concepts of transmigration and the indivisibility of matter. It sounds forbidding, but the director draws on his own local knowledge and the distinctive styles of Robert Bresson and Jacques Tati to fashion a study of faith, ritual, nature and folklore that is both profoundly moving and delightfully droll. The scenes of ageing Giuseppe Fuda swallowing church dust to counter a niggling cough are matched for poignancy by the fate of the lost kid goat. A long take capturing a Good Friday procession is both amusing and accomplished, while the constant juxtaposition of animal, vegetable and mineral is as sublime as Andrea Locatelli's glorious photography. In short, this is a masterpiece.

Plot Summary

Lyrical, almost silent drama that observes the rhythms of life as they unfold in an Italian mountaintop village, focusing on an ageing goatherd, one of his flock and the natural world around them.

Cast and crew


Old shepherd
Giuseppe Fuda
Serra San Bruno charcoal miner
Bruno Timpano
Serra San Bruno charcoal miner
Nazareno Timpano


Michelangelo Frammartino

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
New Wave Films
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 27 May 2011
Certificate U