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Rome, Open City: the death of Pina

by The Cine-Files

In its bold confrontation of Nazi politics and Italian collaboration, as well as its focus on the daily lives of the Roman people, Open City revolutionized cinema in 1945. The handling of this subject matter combined with its rough-hewn aesthetic made Open City a watershed film in cinema history, and it was recognized worldwide for its innovation. Although Open City marked the inauguration of Neorealism, it continued to rely on many devices of popular narrative cinema. Though it did employ several non-professional actors, it relied on the star power of Anna Magnani as Pina and Aldo Fabrizi as the priest. Perhaps most significantly, Open City is a highly plotted, action-driven melodrama, differing greatly from the episodic structure of a film like The Bicycle Thief. This excerpt from Open City depicts Magnani as Pina in a particularly melodramatic, yet enormously effective moment that depicts the brutality of the Nazis.

Rome, Open City: the death of Pina

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early scene from Rome, Open City, depicting the death of Pina (Anna Magnani)

from Rome, Open City (1945)
Creator: Roberto Rossellini
Distributor: Image Entertainment DVD release, 1997
Posted by The Cine-Files