Ferrua, Pietro

Revenge of Trinity (Trinity sees Red) or Wind’s Fierce (La Cólera del viento)

A film by by Mario Camus

Population. Population and depopulationCommunication. FilmsSpain. 20th CenturyFERRUA, Pietro (Piero) Michele Stefano (1930 - ....)

Spain, 1971

color, 105’.

In Spanish or Italian with English subtitles.

Writing credits: Mario Camus and Mario Cecchi Gori.

Spanish-Italian co-production.

Cast: Terence Hill, Maria Grazia Buccella, Mario Pardo, Máximo Valverde, Fernando Rey, Angel Lombarte, Carlos Alberto Cortina.

The unidentified person who reviewed TRINITY SEES RED in the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com) was mystified by this “European Western from the serious end of the scale is not altogether equal to its pretensions”. Spanish censorship (dictator Franco was still in power) is equally fooled by this cryptic Camus film. This director’s interest in anarchist themes is more evident in his LA CIUDAD DE LOS PRODIGIOS (1999), as it was already in his LA COLMENA (1982) and in LOS DIAS DEL PASADO (1978). However, in 1971, movie directors still had to use Aesopic language to deal with delicate political topics.

With a superb international cast encompassing an English language actor (Terence Hill), a fascinating young Italian actress (Maria Grazia Buccella), and one of Buñuel’s favorite Spanish actors (Fernando Rey), this Western is not your usual cowboy film. It deals with class struggle in the Spanish countryside.

Landowner Don Antonio hires hitmen to get rid of an anarchist agitator whose political views are recognized only by filmgoers who know about anarchism, such as in the quotes from a 1930s speech by Bonaventura Durruti. The peasants in the village expect to see only one person who will establish a rural union. This person is also the target of Don Antonio’s hitmen. Don Antonio is the only person who knows that two people will arrive.

Nevertheless, three people come to the village separately but simultaneously which creates a baffling situation for the viewer of the film. It becomes even more entangled when the filmgoer has to decide who is the long-awaited savior of the peons and who is the killer. Everything revolves around the heroin, who may be falling in love with the wrong guy. The suspense continues throughout the film.

Both villains and innocent people die but, in the process, at least one bad guy undergoes a transformation (if not legally, at least morally). He discovers love and solidarity, instructing the “good guys” to negotiate with the moderate Don Lucas, ready to accept the eight-hour workday, instead of agreeing with Don Antonio, who is an old-fashioned tyrant.

Characters in this film are well-dramatized and believable. This already would be engough to keep the interest alive for almost two hours. But Camus is also interested in developing collective situations and cleverly reconstituting the bargaining that was common in Spain near the end of the feudal society (late 19th century), when more modern and human landowners questioned the greed of their own peers. Such is the case of Don Lucas, who was ready to improve the treatment and working conditions of his farmers. He was killed eventually as a result of the rage and implacable selfish logic of Don Antonio, whose punishment manifested itself in the loss of his own son in the fight between peasants and landowners; he also lost his cereal crop and his cattle. These losses, ironically, were caused by the hitmen he had hired to squelch any dissent among his peasants.

Mario Camus had already directed and written a dozen films before this one. But it is this feature that first established him as an important filmmaker, to become the author of many skillful adaptations of strong literary works.

Pietro Ferrua