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The film opens with the Carlo Levi figure in a very reflective mood, surrounded by his portrait paintings of the peasants of southern Italy where he was banished by Mussolini’s government in 1935, and where he found himself forced back into medical practice to do what he could for the sick and ailing, impoverished and ignored people he encountered there. He promised them he would return but he never did.

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Calls flooded in to neighbours, word reached the emigrants abroad via email, Skype and phone. They recited the Rosary in churches and prayed for him and those he left behind.

And there was worry too. How would they cope without him? Who would be their doctor now? No one else knew their medical history. They all believed they had a unique connection with him.

There was a bond.

Irish Independent >>>