Wanita Wednesdays: “Rome, Open City”

From special guest writer Wanita.

After taking an introductory film class, Wanita wished to contribute a little of what she learned. Therefore, every Wednesday until the end of January, Wanita will be talking about a specific aspect of filmmaking or a film she enjoyed, i.e. Wanita Wednesdays! This week: a review of “Rome, Open City”.

Rome_Open_City poster

SYNOPSIS (from IMDb): Rome, 1944. Giorgio Manfredi, one of the leaders of the Resistance, is tracked down by the Nazis. He goes to his friend Francesco, and asks Pina, Francesco’s fiancée, for help. Pina must warn a priest, Don Pietro Pellegrini, that Giorgio needs to leave the town as soon as possible …

I really enjoyed watching “Rome, Open City”, it was different from films that I normally watch, and that’s what made it interesting. The bad subtitles and footage that couldn’t be seen didn’t take away my interest in the movie. I’ve seen Indian films with worst or no subtitles, and I hardly understand the language, but that doesn’t stop me from watching those movies. The dialogue in a movie can be very important, but the way a movie flows, and the way actors act around each other can tell a lot more, after all films are not only audible but also visual. I guess since I grew up watching movies without subtitles, I don’t worry about what I’m missing when they don’t come up on the screen, if they aren’t there then I try to tell what’s going on by what I see.

The long shots thoughout the movie were noticeable, along with what seems like a lack of editing. However, those made the movie seem very real, as if you were watching it first hand, and not through a movie. The characters, and events seemed very real, because they were real, they were stories that happened. One storyline that I found strange was that a little boy on crutches could somehow find, purchase and get a gun and bombs up into an attic; and that he and his gang of friends could blow-up a truck. But the children also had their beliefs, and felt they needed to be expressed, what was interesting was that their beliefs seemed to be the same as the adults. I also enjoyed the fact that the movie had some comic relief to it; it cut through someof the tense parts, and the horrifying parts which came after, like Pina’s death, and the torture scene. Although the film might not have had amazing editing techniques, as  a neo-realist film would, I found its story by itself, and the way it was told and filmed, so raw like, made it a very powerful film.

LAST DETAILS: “Rome, Open City” (1945) directed by Roberto Rossellini, written by Sergio Amidei and Federico Fellini, starring Aldo Fabrizi, Anna Magnani and Marcello Pagliero.


2 thoughts on “Wanita Wednesdays: “Rome, Open City”

  1. What was amazing about Rome Open City is that it was filmed just 6 months after the Allies took Rome from the Nazis and the Italian fascists. So there is an immediacy to the film that gives it and additional power.


    • As you know, Norie, this was a guest post and your comment just reminds me how much I need to see this! Actually, there was a restored version presented for free at TIFF this year but it was not on the days I was there… I’m starting to feel that there are signs that I need to see this sooner than later 😉


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