Magazine article The Spectator

CULTURE NOTES Occupational Hazards

Magazine article The Spectator

CULTURE NOTES Occupational Hazards

Article excerpt

Roberto Rossellini shot his neorealist landmark Rome, Open City while the war still raged and rubble littered the freshly liberated capital. Based on real experiences from the ten month German occupation, the film follows ordinary Romans, some active dissenters, some just trying to get by, as the Nazis and the Italian fascist authorities mount a sea rch for a Resistance fighter freshly arrived from outside the city. Actress Anna Magnani established her screen persona as the indomitable battler from the streets, and renowned stage comedian Aldo Fabrizi (above) turned in a performance as great as any in cinema as Don Pietro, the priest whose faith in God and his fellow man never wavers, even in the face of death. A young Federico Fellini enhanced Fabrizi's role with some comic scenes, essential to the neorealists' dramatisation of both the humour and hardship of everyday life. …

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