11 August, 2008

one of the greatest war films ever made

i had cause this weekend past to see this absolute gem.
a real treasure and find. that was a magical year for italian film-making
not only did this win at venice but it was such a bumper year that the top
prize was shared with another italian movie, also dealing with the pesky subject of war. heroism. with wonderful irony. and a lack of heavy-handedness rare today and even rarer then.

from filmfanatic.org:
a powerful depiction of director Roberto Rossellini’s conviction that “every Italian has the responsibility to share his countrymen’s misery.” Indeed, because Rossellini spends the entire first hour of the movie showing us Grimaldi (De Sica) as he sells out his fellow Italians to the Gestapo — brusquely trading their lives for cash — it’s especially gratifying to witness his change of heart once he’s in prison. Although Grimaldi has nothing to gain by helping the Resistance movement, he comes to recognize the true importance of solidarity in the face of evil. By the end of the film, you’ll feel nothing but compassion and pride for this reformed swindler, who “becomes worthy of the man whose name he has stolen.”

No comments: