In La Guerra Dei Cafoni it’s summer in 1970s southern Italy and a war is raging, one that’s fought every year between two gangs of youth. The rich kids, “The Masters”, have control over the poor kids, “The Yokels”, but the poor kids haven’t given up hope of capturing The Masters’ flag, taking over their stuff, and their women.
With not a parent in sight, these feral and often cruel kids live their lives in a kind of “Lord of the Flies” style. Each group has its leader who runs things like military dictators, and their are rules of war, but when the Masters cross a line and disrespect a Yokel girl, the Yokels don’t just get mad, they get even. For them, it’s no longer enough to just defend themselves, they want to dominate and take over what the Masters have.
When you’re a Master, you’re the top cat in town, you’re the gold-medal kid with the heavyweight crown! With the entitlement expected from the privileged class, the Masters value very little the lives and possessions of their enemies, but an unexpected attraction to a Yokel girl makes one Master question his own authority. Meanwhile, the Yokels take on a cold-blooded mercenary that will take the battle to a whole new level that not everyone is comfortable with.
The rugged Puglian backdrop and the lonesome seaside location add to the feeling of isolation and the vulnerability of kids on both sides. Can a sacrifice end the war?