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The Last Victory [DVD]

John Appel    Exempt   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Directors: John Appel
  • Producers: Carmen Cobos
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Italian
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Metrodome
  • DVD Release Date: 18 Oct 2004
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002ISGTM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 116,899 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Documentary by Dutch filmmaker John Appel telling the story of 'Il Palio', the historic horse race that takes place twice a year in Siena, Italy. The film follows the dreams of the inhabitants of one of the town's districts as they prepare for the race, which, after all the passion and excitement of the build-up, lasts for only about 90 adrenaline-filled seconds.

Product Description

Manufacturer: Metrodome

Customer Reviews

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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good! 18 Aug 2013
By Cinzia
Format:DVD
In this DVD is told a lived reality of my Contrada, the Civetta. And I was there in those moments, during the making of the movie. I'm delighted to have found a copy of this documentary, to me, very important. Excellent!
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By K. Gordon TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Very interesting documentary about the yearly Palio horse-race through
the streets of Siena, where each horse represents a different
neighborhood.

The nearly religious fervor the population puts into the preparations
for the race, and the intense emotions they put into the results are
fascinating, Among the highlights are the sections about a 92 year old
with the energy of a man 35 years younger, who still holds the race as
the center of his being, and the generally splendid photography.

Not a super deep or emotional experience, but a wonderful chance to get
a look inside a culture without almost any exposition, just images, and
the words of the people themselves.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Sensitive Documentary 8 Oct 2006
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
THE LAST VICTORY may appear on the DVD cover to be a story film, but in truth it is a documentary - in other words the story within the film is true and untampered. That fact makes the film even more entertaining, especially to those who love Italy and the traditions about which the casual visitor knows too little.

In Siena there is an annual horserace called the 'Palio' in the city's center piazza (Piazza del Campo). The event dates back to medieval times and represents the theme of solidarity of the seventeen various neighborhoods (contrada) of Siena, each of which has a symbol and a coat of arms with accompanying flags and regalia. THE LAST VICTORY follows one of these contrada - Civetta - as its closely bonded families prepare for the Palio. They wear the colors, they set up long tables of food, and they raise money to compete in the race. A few days before the Palio each contrada wins a horse through what seems like a lottery and that horse is praised by the populace, a jockey is chosen and the race begins.

The tender part of this ritual is supported by the fact that director John Appel has selected members of Civetta - Egidio Mecacci, Paolo Rossi, Alma Savini, Roberto Papei, Camilla Marzucchi and others - and follows their moods and excitement and preparation for the big event. The 92 year old Egidio is perhaps the most charismatic as he relates the sad history that that the Civetta has not won the race since 1979 and all hopes 'ride' on the beautiful horse that is assigned to them. The preparations are intense: the piazza is ringed with dirt over the stones to create a running track, the horse is groomed, and the members of the neighborhood gather and sing and eat in hopes they will win the Palio. The ending of the race is best left for the viewer to see, but in the course of just over a minute the race is complete and the impact the results have on the Civetta are telling.

Appel and his crew have captured the essence of an important Sienese tradition and this little quiet film shares insights into the Italian sense of camaraderie and familia that is all too rarely seen today. The film is touching and worth viewing - for education and for entertainment well presented as a documentary. Grady Harp, October 06
4.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat disappointing 20 Jun 2013
By Traveler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The video includes many scenes of El Campo and preparations for the Palio. One race was shown, and the dejection of the loosing contrada seemed real enough. But I was somewhat disappointed in this video. Apparently it was produced by a film company who employed actors to portray some Sienese people in the film. I was expecting a documentary. So when I realized that the stories were created for the video and that actors, rather than ordinary citizens, were acting and telling the stories that accompanied the race, I felt let down.
4.0 out of 5 stars great story 5 Aug 2012
By Pat A. Vellucci - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
very pleased to learn about long ranging of this spectacle in Tuscany' RN ABOUT THIS IN BOOKS AND NOW ON DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Last Victory" Is A Triumph 12 Mar 2011
By MS - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This documentary takes the viewer deep within a Siennese tradition that is nothing short of religious--the twice-yearly running of the Palio. The Palio is a wild 90-second bareback horse race in which covert bribery is permitted; jockeys are allowed to freely flog each other, but not each other's horses; to make secret deals with each other at the starting line; and in which horses who happen to be riderless can still win if they come in first. The film explores with real depth and sensitivity the emotion, pride, and love which the Siennese put into their preparations for the race. There's a fierce edge of competition between the seventeen contrade (districts) of Siena, each of which has its horse and jockey, its own colors and customs, mascots and superstitions. We follow the fortunes of the Civetta (owl) contrade

Interviews with longtime citizens have genuine honesty and interest, in particular the ones with 92-year-old Edigio. It was a quiet pleasure to see him so engaged in the world--pruning with vigor in his garden, cooking what looked like an excellent meal, greeted with respect by everyone, and of course, following the Palio as the lodestar of his very full life.

The cinematography is splendid, and does justice to a beautiful city and a fascinating tradition.
4.0 out of 5 stars Rich documentary that takes you into another world 24 Feb 2011
By K. Gordon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Very interesting documentary about the yearly Palio horse-race through
the streets of Siena, where each horse represents a different
neighborhood.

The nearly religious fervor the population puts into the preparations
for the race, and the intense emotions they put into the results are
fascinating. Among the highlights are the sections about a 92 year old
with the energy of a man 35 years younger, who still holds the race as
the center of his being, and the generally splendid photography.

Not a super deep or emotional experience, but a wonderful chance to get
a look inside a culture without almost any exposition, just images, and
the words of the people themselves.
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