A Catholic celebration is underway in the town of Viterbo. All of a sudden shots are fired from a window. An unemployed man, Mario, locks himself, his wife and child in their home and begins an armed standoff. The police know the culprit and start negotiations to persuade Mario to give himself up. The entire film is shot like a documentary from inside the apartment in grainy black-and-white images. The people don’t talk to each other or try to explain the events. The outside world is seen through semi-closed shutters. Little seems to happen during the ensuing day-long incident, but the tension is unbearable. The viewer senses the great pressure Mario is under, while the police gently but resolutely try to make him surrender. Subtly Baldi succeeds in picturing the social pressures and even hidden violence that can erupt when an individual feels he can take no more.
Born in Bologna in 1930, Gian Vittorio Baldi created an independant production company, the IDI Cinematografica SA. He directed his first long feature in 1972 : « La Notte Dei Fiori ».