This was Roberto Rossellini's revelation, a harrowing drama about the Nazi occupation of Rome and the brave few who struggled against it. Though told with more melodramatic flair than the other films that would form this trilogy and starring some well-known actors--Aldo Fabrizi as a priest helping the partisan cause and Anna Magnani in her breakthrough role as the fiancee of a resistance member--Rome Open City (Roma citta aperta) is a shockingly authentic experience, conceived and directed amid the ruin of World War II, with immediacy in every frame. Marking a watershed moment in Italian cinema, this galvanic work garnered awards around the globe and left the beginnings of a new film movement in its wake.
Additional Reading: http://www.criterion.com/current/posts/1356-rome-open-city-a-star-is-born
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