Roma, cittā aperta (Open City) (1946)
This was Roberto Rossellini's revelation, a harrowing drama about the Nazi occupation of Rome and the brave few who struggled against it. Rome Open City is a shockingly authentic experience, conceived and directed amid the ruin of World War II.
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Critic Reviews for Roma, cittā aperta (Open City)
Today it doesn't feel like a documentary at all. It's a street opera, caught on camera during wartime, a story performed by a mixed cast of amazing professionals and earnest non-professionals.
This much of the film is standard hero and villain stuff. But what makes picture good is the story of other characters involved in the tragedy.
Much is devastating -- but Rossellini found room, too, for the humour and warmth of everyday life.
The total effect of the picture is a sense of real experience, achieved as much by the performance as by the writing and direction.
Remains a film of electric drama and high emotion, as well as a major turning point in film history.
Roberto Rossellini's film owes part of its emotional power to its mixture of politico-religious symbolism and quotidian humor.
Ubaldo Arata's visceral cinematography blends the grit of a documentary with the heart and soul of a drama (Fellini collaborated on the screenplay) as the people of Rome wrestle with the constraints, compromises and collusions of life during wartime.
Aldo Fabrizi excels as the courageous priest and there are few films that have a finale as heartbreaking.
Roberto Rossellini's benchmark 1945 work of abrasive political realism presents a crumbling Rome that's been ravaged by war.
[Rossellini's] towering melodrama set during the Nazi occupation of the Italian capital, in the grinding endgame of the Second World War.
Made on a tiny budget with a largely non-professional cast and filmed on the streets where similar events had just occurred, the rawness of the movie give it an immediacy that still hits home.
its rough, newsreel-like aesthetic gives the story's undeniably melodramatic tensions and clear-cut depictions of good and evil a sense of gritty reality and true gravity
Roberto Rossellini had been a journeyman director working within Mussolini's Italian film industry when he redefined his career and all but inaugurated the neo-realist movement...
(T)hese moments are so powerful that its easy to understand the effusive rhetoric the film has inspired.
The true "realism" comes from within the film and from the sense of artists banded together to make something because they had something to say.
Announcing the arrival of a new, revolutionary paradigm, Italian neorealism, Rossellini's masterpiece shows the tension between his realistic docu-style and use of some melodramatic devices, but flaws are overcome by unified vision and political fervor
Audience Reviews for Roma, cittā aperta (Open City)
This quintessential classic of neorealism is an unsettling and hard-hitting portrait of an era, shot in a gritty documentary-like style and with a gallery of fascinating characters that represent, each one of them, a facet of Roman society under Nazi German occupation.More
altho not the first nor the definitive neorealist film, it was the one that caught the world's attention. filmed in the streets under difficult circumstances shortly after rome's liberation and still thrilling to watch, the film follows resistance fighters and ordinary people trying to get on with their lives in the wake of nazi occupation. the criterion edition with high def digital transfer looks terrific. if you've tried watching this before but was put off by poor picture quality and bad subtitles check it out now :)More
Has to be one of the first post-war films to come out of Italy after WWII. In 1945 the Italians had every right to be anti-German, yet this film is less about that than it is an homage to the men, women and children who fought against occupation in the underground resistance movement. A fantastic film.More
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