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Film: Rome Open City (12A)

Arguably Rossellini's masterpiece, Rome Open City is a poignant reflection upon the atrocity of the fascist regime in Italy during WWII.

Rome Open City (12A)

Directed by Roberto Rossellini

5 Stars

Arguably Rossellini's masterpiece, Rome Open City is a poignant reflection upon the atrocity of the fascist regime in Italy during WWII.

Shot a few months after the war ended and first released in 1945, it focuses on the bombarded streets of Prenestino, a working-class neighbourhood.

Inspired by real events, it tells the story of engineer Manfredi, a communist who works in the underground resistance movement. Wanted by the Gestapo, he goes into hiding. He has money to deliver to the resistance and he persuades Don Pietro, a priest who supports anti-fascist fighters, to do it.

In the fight against the regime are left-wing intellectuals, priests and the working class, among them women and children.

Rosselini presents the facts without ambiguity - he has an urgency to show the impact of the war on the Italian people, particularly the impoverished.

A landmark film in the creation of the neorealist genre, Rome Open City is shot in a documentary style in the streets of the capital, with real locations and real people.

Its immediacy and authenticity make a huge impact on audiences and this near-perfect restoration from Cineteca Nazionale provides an unmissable opportunity to appreciate a masterpiece of cinema.

Rita Di Santo

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