Anni difficili

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The Difficult Years is another uncompromising neorealist exercise by Italian filmmaker Luigi Zampa. The title refers to the years that Italy spent under the thumb of fascism. It is Zampa's thesis that the majority of Italian citizens preferred to ignore Mussolini's trampling of human rights and his ever-increasing megalomania, so long as they were left in peace. Umberto Spadaro stars as Aldo Piscitello, an utterly apolitical government clerk who joins the Fascist Party to maintain his job security and keep his wife happy. After the war, the hapless Aldo is accused of being a fanatical follower of fascism. Though innocent of this charge, he is certainly guilty of not speaking up when it would have done the most good. The English-language version of Difficult Years includes a narration written by Arthur Miller and spoken by John Garfield.

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