The film consists of four stories plus epilogue, set in 19th-century Sicily. THE OTHER SON – A mother spends her life waiting for news from her two sons (emigrated to America) while ignoring her third, because he is the reincarnation of the bandit who raped her. MOON SICKNESS – a newly-wed peasant girl discovers that her husband goes mad every full moon. She arranges for a male friend to protect her, but they end up in bed together just as the moon emerges from behind a cloud.
THE JAR – a rich landowner hires a master craftsman to repair a giant olive jar, but the craftsman gets trapped inside. REQUIEM – villagers band together in an attempt to force their landlord to let them bury their dead. CONVERSATIONS WITH MOTHER – the writer Luigi Pirandello talks with his aged mother about a story he always wanted to write, but which he never managed to capture in words.
L’altro figlio (“The Other Son”) is about a mother whose two sons have emigrated to the United States. She hasn’t heard from them since (14 years ago), but she still favors them over a third son who has stayed behind and tries to help and please his mother. The reason for her completely shunning him are explained in flashbacks to events in 1848.
Mal di luna (“Moonsickness”) Three weeks after their honeymoon, Sidora discovers that, during the full moon, her husband Batà spends the night howling outside like a werewolf and scratching to get back in. Batà tries to save his marriage by allowing her to have the handsome Saro spend the full-moon nights at their place to protect Sidora.
La giara (“The Jar”) In this comedic section, a feudal landlord (Don Lollò) orders a very large jar for his olive oil, but the new jar breaks almost immediately under mysterious circumstances. The great “jar-fixer” Zi’ Dima, famous for his secret-recipe glue, is called to repair the jar, but Zi’ Dima manages to fix the jar with himself in it and Don Lollò refuses to break the jar again to let him out.
Requiem Motivated by the imminent death of their founding father, farmers in a remote hamlet on grounds owned by a baron try to obtain the rights to bury their dead locally rather than in the town, which is over a day’s hike away. The baron refuses and carabinieri escort the peasants back to their hamlet to break down the beginnings of a graveyard the peasants are building.
An epilogue, Colloquio con la madre (“Conversing with Mother”), of similar length as the stories, describes Pirandello’s fictional visit home many years after his mother has died. He asks his mother to retell the story of a trip to Malta she took as a child to visit her exiled father. The ending sequence showed children sliding down the vast slopes of white pumice that flowed into the sea on the island of Lipari.
Kaos (originally Chaos in the US) is a 1984 Italian drama film directed by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani based on short stories by Luigi Pirandello (1867–1936). The film’s title is after Pirandello’s explanation of the local name Càvusu of the woods near his birthplace in the neighborhood of Girgenti (Agrigento), on the southern coast of Sicily, as deriving from the ancient Greek word kaos.
Chaos – Kaos (1984)
Directed by: Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani
Starring: Margarita Lozano, Orazio Torrisi, Carlo Cartier, Biagio Barone, Laura Mollica, Salvatore Rossi, Franco Scaldati
Screenplay by: Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani
Production Design by: Francesco Bronzi
Cinematography by: Giuseppe Lanci
Film Editing by: Roberto Perpignani
Costume Design by: Lina Nerli Taviani
Music by: Nicola Piovani
Distributed by: Metro Goldwyn Mayer, United Artists Classics
Release Date: February 14, 1984