The first film from director Paolo Pietrangeli, who had composed some of the anthems of the Italian 1968 protest movement (Contessa probably being the most famous). Here, he throws himself headlong into those years of protest, to document the passions and delusions of the youthful protagonists. A few years later he will return to “the scene of the crime” with I giorni cantati, a film with an even darker and more disillusioned perspective. The screenplay for Porci con le ali was adapted from the bestselling novel of the same name (with the subheading: The sexual-political diary of two teenagers) published the previous year by authors Marco Lombardo Radice and Lidia Ravera, which caused a scandal due to its explicit depiction of sexual impulses and the zeal of protests behind the barricades. The film was also censored and banned, mainly due to its depiction of the naked male body, which at that time was still considered highly undesirable by many people. Upon its release, despite a certain success with audiences, it was criticised from all directions, including the authors of the novel. Seen again today, one may notice a certain narrative and visual modernity that is difficult to find in Italian cinema, and a surprising clarity in representing both the private and public turmoil of a generation. The film makes good use of the songs of Giovanna Marini, one of the most important voices in the study and rediscovery of traditional Italian popular music.
Rocco and Antonia are two leftwing, politically active 15-year-old students. Neither can tolerate the conformism of their parents. They meet, fall in love and discover sex. But the relationship doesn’t last. Following other experiences, including homosexual ones, and the occupation of their school, the school year comes to an end and they take different paths.