The film begins in the 1920's, in the Sicilian town of Bagheria (a.k.a. Baaria) where Giuseppe Peppino Torrenuova works as a shepherd to financially help his poor family. Over the next 50 years Giuseppe's life, as well as the life of the village, is observed. Giuseppe grows up, joins the Communist Party, marries a local girl (Mannina), has children and forges a political career for himself.
Francesco Scianna, Margareth Madè, Raoul Bova