Padre Padrone

Synopsis: The true story of the life of Gavino Ledda, the son of a Sardinian shepherd, and how he managed to escape his harsh, almost barbaric existence by slowly educating himself, despite violent opposition from his brutal father.
Genre: Biography, Drama
Production: RAI
  Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 9 wins.
Rotten Tomatoes:
114 min

This is Gavino Ledda, age 35.

Up to 18, an illiterate


Today, a linguist

and author of a best seller...

...which narrates his life...

...and which inspired

this film.

The story begins

in a Sardinian village... the elementary school

that Gavino attended.

That morning his father

burst into the City Hall...

...where a few offices

were converted into schoolrooms.

He always carried this.

Oh yes, thanks.

Miss Schoolteacher.

I've come to fetch him.

I need him to tend the sheep.

I've come to fetch him.

I need him to tend the sheep.

He's mine.

I'm forced to leave the herd

when delivering milk... cut wood or to harvest.

The money I earn barely pays

for clothing...

...and whatever else a shepherd

cannot produce himself.

That's ONE...

...and TWO!

To come here I left my sheep

prey to foxes and bandits.

Gavino has to tend them.

Gavino against bandits?

But he's still a cub.

What do you know

about shepherding?

Shepherds can fly

without wings.

He'll go to elementary school...

...when he reaches 18. Like me.

What's the Government want?

That my children die of hunger?

I'm taking the boy

'cause I need him.

I'm at peace.

But the law is not.

It wants compulsory schooling.

Poverty is all that's compulsory

...and THREE.

He can't go


You'll earn your money

long before your friends.

You'll be a very good shepherd.

No one laughs at Gavino!

Hands on your desks!

On the desk!

Today it's Gavino's turn...

...tomorrow it's yours.

That's not true.

It won't happen to me.

Mama swore it wouldn't.

We're rich, we have two cows.

Oh God, please,

make papa die...

...and I'll be good forever.

Have the donkey kick him

in the stomach.

No, in the head so he won't

know what hit him.

It's my brother's turn first.

He's ten months older...

...even if he is shorter

than me.

It's his turn.

Soon as I get home, I'll put

a stool near the window.

I'll climb on it and

then leap out.

I'll jump when everyone's

at the table... they can see me

and mama can stop me...

...when one's alone

way up there...

...without a soul around...

...really alone alone...

- I know, they

took me up once -

...the stillness isn't still,

believe me.

It's overpowering... the tolling of

a death bell.

I frightened you?

I did it... you'll come back

down soon.

Before I'll be

forty years old.

Poor little dickybird...

what'll it do way up there?

Hurry! It's your father.

I'll take you to where

the wild apples grow.

And with my nails

dig up the earth chestnuts.

If you're quick, I'll teach you

to catch a hare with a lasso.

You like hazelnuts?

You'll pick bunches of them.

And we'll go by the rocks,

to the young ravens.

Yesterday, behind

the sheepcote...

...I found a blackbird's nest

with 4 eggs.

You have to concentrate:

Your eyes by day...

...ears by night. Learn to know

the pasture and the woods.

You'll often be alone. You must

learn to find your bearings... any given moment

for yourself and the flock.

You hear this rustling?

Learn to recognize it.

Lower your eyes.

I don't hear...

Listen more carefully.

It's the oak tree,

that marks our pasturage.

Turn your head.

And this...

is the torrent behind the wood.

We passed by it.

And this... Sebastiano who's returning

to the village with his horse.

He smokes with the ash

in his mouth... he'll not be a target

by night.

Ancient vendettas stalk

his every move.

Also learn to hear the dawn...

...its many sounds.

If you've the strength

of a man...

...lift up the pail of milk.

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Gavino Ledda

Gavino Ledda (born 30 December 1938) is an author and a scholar of the Italian language and of Sardinian. He is best known for his autobiographical work Padre padrone (1975). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Padre Padrone" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 16 Apr. 2021. <>.

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