Desert of the Tartars (Il Deserto dei Tartari)

Desert of the Tartars (Il Deserto dei Tartari)
  • 1976
  • Italy / France / Iran / West Germany
  • 2h 30min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Valerio Zurlini
  • Written by: Jean-Louis Bertuccelli
  • Cast: Vittorio Gassman, Jacques Perrin, Helmut Griem
  • Language: Italian

Zurlini's final film, an adaptation of Dino Buzzati's novel, was shot entirely within the two thousand year-old Persian citadel of Bam. Focusing on periods of inaction and conflated bureaucracy mostly neglected by filmmakers in the examination of war, Zurlini's 1907-set film stars Jacques Perrin as Drogo, a lieutenant assigned to an isolated fortress on the edge of the desert. This enigmatic, slow, bombastic and unforgettable film is a fitting swan song for this unique director.

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