Rome, Open City

Internet Movie Database

Although Rome is classified as ‘open’, meaning that citizens are not in imminent danger of bombing and they can move about the city fairly freely, the Nazis are in everyone’s faces, there are curfews and rationing, and life is still hard. There are two couples in love and a priest who all become involved with a fugitive Resistance worker.

It was Saturday night, time for our Zoom Movie Group. Mr. Otter had chosen this one, and he, I and Coyote Rambles all settled down to watch it.

This is the first in Rosselini’s Neo-Realist Trilogy (Rome, Open City; Paisan; Germany Year Zero) and was made so soon after the collapse of the Fascist govenment in Italy that they had to use black-market film. It was a big success, so Rosselini went on to make the other two.

Because Rossellini used mostly non-actors, and because it was shot in a Rome that looks tired and war-worn, it has a realism that is fascinating. The story is good, but the setting and visuals are actually as interesting as the plot, showing as they do how people were actually living at the time.

A unique perspective on WWII in Italy, well worth watching.

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