St. Michael Had a Rooster

St. Michael Had a Rooster (Italian: San Michele aveva un gallo) is a 1972 Italian drama film directed by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani. It is an adaptation of Tolstoy's novel The Divine and the Human.[1]

St. Michael Had a Rooster
St. Michael Had a Rooster.jpg
Directed byPaolo and Vittorio Taviani
Produced byGiuliani G. De Negri
Written byPaolo and Vittorio Taviani
StarringGiulio Brogi
Renato Scarpa
Music byBenedetto Ghiglia
CinematographyMario Masini
Edited byRoberto Perpignani
Release date
  • 1972 (1972)

The film was described as "A charming fable about the political and existential conflict between utopian socialism and scientific socialism, between two ways of understanding the revolution, the anarchist one and the Marxist one".[2]

The film was selected for the Quinzaine des Realisateurs in the 1972 Cannes Film Festival.[3]


In 1870 the internationalist anarchist Giulio Manieri led a group of comrades in an unrealistic revolutionary attempt in a small Umbrian town, Città della Pieve, which ended in an inevitable failure that cost him the death sentence.

However, the sentence is commuted to life imprisonment and Manieri spends the interminable days of solitary confinement staging political debates with himself, thus managing to survive the isolation but gradually sliding towards insanity.

After ten years of imprisonment, it is decided to transfer him to another prison. During the boat trip to the new accommodation, in the Venetian lagoon, he meets another boat carrying a group of subversive young people to the same destination. Convinced of finding in them a common feeling and of being able to resume together that debate that has continued alone for years, he discovers instead that his utopian idealism and his methods of struggle are not at all shared, but rather disavowed if not even mocked by the new generation of rebels, animated by a radically different political strategy, less dreamy and more concrete, based on the scientific analysis of reality, and convinced that they cannot personally witness the great changes but to work for the future.

Deeply disappointed by this confrontation, feeling useless and overtaken by history, he lets himself slip into the water to drown.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Pier Marco De Santi. I film di Paolo e Vittorio Taviani. Gremese Editore, 1988.
  2. ^ Morando Morandini. Il Morandini - Dizionario dei Film 2000. Zanichelli, 1999.
  3. ^ Pierre-Henri Deleau. Les Réalisateurs de la Quinzaine. Quinzaine, 1988.

External linksEdit