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Based on a story by Pietro Grossi, Cavalli tells the story of two young boys facing the realities and rites of passage of growing up. Alessandro (Vinivio Marchioni) and Pietro (Michele Alhaique) have spent an idyllic childhood in the country, bounding through fields, swimming in mountain lakes and frolicking in their small town in the Appennini mountains. When their mother (Asia Argento) dies she leaves her sons penniless but also bequeaths to them two magnificent untamed horses named Baio and Sauro and the two boys are forced to labour on the ranch of trainer who agrees to break the horses in exchange for their work.

The film jumps ahead to the boys’ early adulthood when Alessandro leaves their home in the town to see the big city while Pietro stays to work with the horse trainer, marry a local girls and live a smaller life. In the city, Alesandro is forced to confron the corruption that seems to permeate the more urban environment and when he gets mixed up with the wrong element, it becomes clear that he might in well over his head.

Cavalli is a sweeping story that celebrates the bonds of brotherhood, friendship, and family. It’s the type of old-fashioned film that you don;t often see made anymore and Director Michele Rho clearly shows a love for this type of story which feels as though it could easily fall into the western genre with a few tweaks to the setting.

Unfortunately, despite the beautiful cinematography and the excellent performances from the cast, the film begins to lose momentum with the time jump and from the moment that Alessandro and Pietro part ways. The most relatable pasrt of the story is the bond between the two, and although its still felt even when they’re apart, its hard to hook into a film that feels as though it entirely shifts its direction and is foreced to jump back and forth between two main storylines.

Is Cavalli Essential Italian Film Fest Viewing?

Only if you’re in the mood for looking at some beautiful Italian vistas. The story doesn’t live up to the cinematography.

Cavalli Screening Time

Cavalli Trailer