Various themes pop up along the way through this impressive, hard-hitting documentary feature, notably the cruel treatment inflicted on animals, including the human species. Vehicle is impressive on many counts: first, the material found on a round-the-world hunt; second, the juxtaposition of the various elements, sequences, and themes in order to provoke the viewer; third, the adult commentary which, in its original Italian version [spoken by Stefano Sibaldi], manages glibness, irony and satire without overdoing it.

Various themes pop up along the way through this impressive, hard-hitting documentary feature, notably the cruel treatment inflicted on animals, including the human species. Vehicle is impressive on many counts: first, the material found on a round-the-world hunt; second, the juxtaposition of the various elements, sequences, and themes in order to provoke the viewer; third, the adult commentary which, in its original Italian version [spoken by Stefano Sibaldi], manages glibness, irony and satire without overdoing it.

While nearly all bits are patently real, there are two sequences (one concerning the slow death of all life on a Bikini atoll; the other depicting children polishing human skulls and bones in a Roman catacomb) which, despite assurances to the contrary, smack of staging.

Yet the total effect is grimly stimulating from the visual standpoint, depressing in the conclusions drawn. Whether one sides with his views or not, Gualtiero Jacopetti deserves credit for a shattering view of the world.

Mondo Cane

Italy

Production

Cineriz. Director Gualtiero Jacopetti, Paolo Cavara, Franco Prosperi; Screenplay Gualtiero Jacopetti; Camera Antonio Climati, Benito Frattari; Editor Gualtiero Jacopetti; Music Riz Ortolani, Nino Oliviero

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1962. Running time: 105 MIN.
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