In poor Southern Italy, there is a rampant plague of kidnappings, the sad centre of which is Aspromonte. One day Vito, the daydreaming youngest of a peasant family, sees blood on his father’s shoes. That very night, reprisals follow. His entire family is slaughtered in their sleep without mercy. From one moment to the next, Vito’s idyllic childhood is gone forever, and he finds himself caught up in the violent world of child abductions. As the only survivor of the tragedy, he tries to escape to Rome, where his cousin lives. But the perpetrators are closing in on him and death awaits after every footstep. No one can be trusted. Everything seems to revolve around a kidnapped boy, who could be the cause of the feud to which his family has fallen prey. His growing identification with the boy makes Vito decide to pull off a crazy stunt.

This edge-of-your-seat action thriller was almost forgotten with the unexpected death of its legendary producer Franco Cristaldi. The award for best film and best director at the Hampton International Film Festival and an enthusiastic reception by critics in Cannes and New York turned the tide. The feature debut of 31-year-old Italian director Carlo Carlei, like the films of John Woo, disproves the notion that only Americans can make films with hairpin bends. Influenced by his great examples Spielberg, Scorcese, Kubrick and Peckinpah, Carlei portrays the action in a breath-taking, almost ballet-like manner. Flight of the Innocent grabs you by the scruff of the neck and does not let go after the first images. Vito is played by Manuel Colao. He is helped by veteran actor Jacques Perrin.

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