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aka - Roma, Città Aperta
Italy 1945
Directed by
Roberto Rossellini
101 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars

Rome, Open City

Winner of the 1945 Cannes Best Film prize, Rossellini’s passionately tendentious film about ordinary men and women in Rome resisting the Nazi occupation of their city/country is a key work of the Italian neo-realist school.

Filmed in the harsh conditions of immediate post-liberation Rome on a shoestring budget the film no doubt won because of the emotion of the times, the black and white characterisations being stereotypical and technically the film is often patchy (Rossellini used whatever film stock he could find). Overlong from today’s perspective, and for an English-speaking audience suffering from fairly rudimentary sub-titling, it nevertheless has its momnets, the scene in which Anna Magnani is gunned down being an iconic image of Italian cinema.

FYI: Frederico Fellini, yet to debut as a director, was co-scriptwriter with Sergio Amidei and Rossellini.




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