Primarily an account of the tough life led by Sicilian fishermen, this haunting and beautiful film by one of the fathers of Italian neo-realism is also a polemic which conveys the villagers' sense of frustration and injustice as they struggle for sustenance in the face of unscrupulous businessmen.
In a moving postscript to the film's release, the Valestro family, the main participants in the film, wrote to Visconti as follows.
'The Family Valestro wishes to express publicly its gratitude to Luchino Visconti and his collaborators for making their story known to Italy and the world through La Terra Trema. We are profoundly grateful for the experience we underwent together, from which we have reaped the highest hopes for our future.
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