Classic Film Night: ROME, OPEN CITYItaly | 1946 | 103 minutes | Rated PG | Drama, War
Wednesday November 19, 2014
Martha's Vineyard Film Center
$12 General Admission, $9 Member,
$7 child age 14 or younger
Doors Open for admissions 30 min. prior to screening
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Anna Magnani, Aldo Fabrizi, Marcello Pagliero
This was Roberto Rossellini’s revelation, a harrowing drama about the Nazi occupation of Rome and the brave few who struggled against it. Rome Open City is a shockingly authentic experience, conceived and directed amid the ruin of World War II.
The location: Nazi occupied Rome. As Rome is classified an open city, most Romans can wander the streets without fear of the city being bombed or them being killed in the process. But life for Romans is still difficult with the Nazi occupation as there is a curfew, basic foods are rationed, and the Nazis are still searching for those working for the resistance and will go to any length to quash those in the resistance and anyone providing them with assistance.
War worn widowed mother Pina is about to get married to her next door neighbor Francesco. Despite their situation – Pina being pregnant, and Francesco being an atheist – Pina and Francesco will be wed by Catholic priest Don Pietro Pelligrini. The day before the wedding, Francesco’s friend, Giorgio Manfredi, who Pina has never met, comes looking for Francesco as he, working for the resistance, needs a place to hide out. For his latest mission, Giorgio also requests the assistance of Don Pietro, who is more than willing as he sees such work as being in the name of God. Don Pietro’s position also provides him with access to where others are not able. Giorgio’s girlfriend, Marina, a cabaret performer, doesn’t even know where Giorgio is in hiding. Both Pina and Marina take measures to improve their lives under this difficult situation, those actions in combination have tragic consequences.
"Today it doesn't feel like a documentary at all. It's a street opera, caught on camera during wartime, a story performed by a mixed cast of amazing professionals and earnest non-professionals." -Michael Phillips CHICAGO TRIBUNE
"Much is devastating -- but Rossellini found room, too, for the humour and warmth of everyday life." - Dave Calhoun TIME OUT
"Roberto Rossellini's film owes part of its emotional power to its mixture of politico-religious symbolism and quotidian humor." -Oleg Ivanov SLANT MAGAZINE
"Ubaldo Arata's visceral cinematography blends the grit of a documentary with the heart and soul of a drama (Fellini collaborated on the screenplay) as the people of Rome wrestle with the constraints, compromises and collusions of life during wartime." -Mark Kermode OBSERVER