Raffaele, Nicola, and Rocco, the three brothers, grew in their hometown in Puglia, but their life far from parents' home largely changed their views and made them idealists. Now, they all live far from home and have own occupations. Rosi's drama starts with the death of the mother and coming of three sons to her funeral.
Rosi shows that the death of the mother is perceived by each of the brothers almost in the same way; however, they all have other emotional issues that are pressing on them. The life in 1970s Italy, does not allow them to accept the things as they go because of their individual perception of widespread corruption, economic disparity, organized crime, delinquency, and domestic terrorism. Rosi uses fantasy to show brothers' dreams by underlining the idea that brothers' idealism pervades "the seemingly conflicting actions and divergent life calling of the three brothers as each strive to improve social conditions through dedicated service" (http://www.filmref.com/directors/dirpages/rosi.html). The drama is grounded on the story of three estranged brothers.
Raffaele is the judge fighting terrorism. ...
igation into a series of petty thefts has been traced back to several unidentified young delinquents who have devised a means to scale the walls of the institute at night to sneak into town, then return to the facility unobserved by morning, and have asked Rocco for his assistance in identifying the perpetrators" (http://www.filmref.com/directors/dirpages/rosi.html). Raffaelle has a good job in Rome. He managed to review a series of cases concerning organized crime and domestic terrorism. However, his job brings not only money to his, but also the fear to be killed one day. His wife even convinces him to reject the proposed judicial appointment because of safety concerns, but for Raffaelle moral obligations are above all. He goes to his father's home and believes that this trip will give him the opportunity to reflect on what to choose - to continue his struggle for order or to think about own safety.
Unlike him, Nicola's fear does not concern his personal life; on the contrary, being an industrial union member he fights for better work conditions. No one can say that he leads a calm life working as a factory worker in Turin. Nicola's life is a constant thinking about the working class. He participates in worker strikes. Besides his worries about the workers he has no happiness in his family life.
The third brother, Rocco, is a school teacher. He is completely occupied with running a reform school. Rocco has dedicated his life to teaching difficult boys, and pleads for peace when his brothers start tough discussions about politics. Their father, Donato, lives in a world completely different from that of his sons. He is a man of faith who is not interested in politics and the Northern/Southern Italian class conflicts. In the movie, we see him as an old widower, who has