Animals Of The Alpine Front

From a remote village near border between Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire unrolls the intimate story of Teresa and Carlo, two young people whose paths cross and recross as they are first impelled by parents, then forced by sweeping world events to leave their childhood homes for lives they never imagined.

Having left her mother and cherished dog Allucio, in Ulfano, Teresa works as a domestic servant in a large villa in Trento. She survives the Great War in the occupied city by banding together in a makeshift family with the other servants of the owners who have fled to escape the occupation.

Carlo, still new to Italy and with barely passable Italian, is just finding his footing in Trento, when he’s dragged from bed at his boarding school, along with his classmates, and conscripted by the invading army. In a comical twist of fate, Carlo’s childhood near the Colorado gold mines motivates his captors to place him with a company of miners tasked with digging entrenchments and bunkers. Out of sheer loneliness, Carlo writes letters to Teresa, a girl he met only once in Trento.

After the war, Carlo returns to Trento and reconnects with Teresa. Times are unsettled, as soldiers and those who fled the war flood back to the city and signs of the impending Influenza epidemic appear. With so much chaos, tradition gives way to new ideas, so neither worries about the consequences of their growing attachment. However, the same independence that has them dreaming of a future that didn’t exist when they were children, may pull them apart forever.