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Early in my film education, as is likely the case for others, I studied Italian Neorealism. This movement came about in direct response to the horrors of WWII and used the war-torn landscapes left in its wake to great effect. Most actors were non-professionals (often, just people going about their days normally and unaware of the cinema history they were becoming a part of) and scenes were shot on location. Many of the most influential names in cinema, notably those who worked in the French New Wave, were heavily influenced by the poetic choices that erupted from the reality of this post-war form.

One of the titans of the movement, Roberto Rossellini, is known especially for his movies during this time. His three films will be screening for FREE at the North End branch of Boston Public Library this month. Today, rush out of work and see the first – ROME, OPEN CITY. Telling the story both of young partisan fighters in Rome and the Catholic priest who aided them, this film is a wave of tragedy, intrigue, and bravery both in its plot and production. Put together on a hodge-podge of film and processed with limited means, ROME, OPEN CITY is a testament to human tenacity in the name of art and truth. It is, as Rossellini himself has stated, “a film about fear, the fear felt by all of us but by me in particular. I too had to go into hiding. I too was on the run. I had friends who were captured and killed.”

5/7 – 5:30PM

Boston Public Library
North End Branch
25 Parmenter Street, Boston, MA 02113

Stay tuned! Be sure to catch Rossellini’s PAISAN (1946) on 5/14 & GERMANY, YEAR ZERO (1949) on 5/28.

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