Open City

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  • Drama, Foreign, Neo realism, Period, War , produced in 1945 Italy
  • Actors: Anna Magnani
  • Directed by: Roberto Rossellini
  • Rating: 8.2 out of 10
  • Plot Summary: Roberto Rossellini's OPEN CITY (ROMA CITTA APERTA) is a landmark in the history of cinema, a humanist masterpiece and one of the earliest incarnations of Italian neorealism. Based on real events, it tells the harrowing story of several Italian Resistance fighters battling fascism in Nazi-occupied Rome. When Gestapo agents raid an apartment where Manfredi (Marcello Pagliero), a prominent member of the underground, is hiding, they arrest the young man who gave him refuge. Manfredi manages to escape, then enlists the help of a parish priest, Don Pietro (Aldo Fabrizi), to make a clandestine delivery to other members of the movement. Eventually, Manfredi is betrayed, and he and the priest are quickly captured by the Germans; what follows is one of the most brutally disturbing war torture scenes ever recreated on screen. With OPEN CITY, Rossellini has created a testament to the strength of the human spirit in the face of horrible adversity, in a story that extols the heroism of defiant, ordinary people who strive to hold onto their humanity in the cold, chaotic world of WW II. The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Screenplay; Fellini collaborated with Rossellini in the writing of the script. OPEN CITY is all the more remarkable in that it was made immediately following the liberation of Rome, had been developed while Rossellini himself was in hiding, and was filmed in the locations where the true events that the story is based on, occurred.
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