Pier Paolo Passolini will be remembered thanks to movies so different as Il vangelo secondo Matteo or The Last 120 days of Sodoma, but the truth is that his filmography has plenty of movies that, even though don’t look so sharp or don’t seem to threat so crucial subjects, reveal a lot more and in a more crude way.
While Accattone revealed the slumps of a big city and all the misery that was taking place in Italy while Gassman was driving his Aurelia, Ucellacci e Uccellini (The Hawks and the Sparrows) talks about the crisis of the men who no longer believe in his faith.
Placing his, at the time, boyfriend (enormous Ninetto Davoli) along with one of the masters of Italian comedy (Totò), Passolini makes them walk along an endless road who nobody knows where it leads to. Their only company is a small crow, with the curious ability to talk and talk but also to judge the actions of the couple from a social-political viewpoint, revealing himself not only as the right-wing conscience of them both, but also the auteur’s and viewer’s. In this endless road, they’ll find misery, compassion, oppression and some love…
Uccellacci e Uccellini is a satire of the society but also the story of people who lose their credo, then find it again and then lose it forever. Either if one is a catholic, a Communist or just a simple peasant, faith is there to just feed our conscience. And at the end it’s just that, a way of eating something that will make us more comfortable with the atrocious reality that surrounds us. Great soundtrack by Ennio Morricone and excellent cast of actors, both professional and totally amateur. Just the credits of the movie suffice to understand what kind of movie one is going to see: