Fontamara is a tiny Italian village during the Mussolini years. The deprivations of the War are hardly anything new to the citizens of Fontamara, since they've been in a state of poverty ever since the city was founded. Nonetheless, the townsfolk are supremely resourceful, and as such they tend to laugh off the progressive rantings of town "character" Michele Placido. When he tries to rally his neighbors against the fascist city officials, he is arrested on a trumped-up charge and is tortured to death in prison. A friend of Placido's, at last realizing the sagacity and sincerity of his buffoonish companion, takes it upon himself to carry on his fallen comrade's anti-fascist activities, making certain that the citizens of Fontamara are given all the facts concerning Placido's "accidental" demise.
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