Rome, Open City by Roberto Rossellini is considered to be one of the greatest films of all time! The Italian war movie follows the lives of a priest (Aldo Fabrizi), a pregnant woman (Anna Magnani) and a fleeing resistance fighter (Marcello Pagliero). Shot just after the war in 1945 and set two years earlier during Nazi occupation, it is impossible to watch the film without vying for these characters at its very heart.
Rome, Open City is now considered an iconic film of Italian cinema, one of the early pioneers of its neorealism wave. It presents the gritty wartime era through Rossellini’s raw directing and the sincerity of plot and setting combined. Don’t be put off however - in true Italian style, for every tragedy there are bundles of warmth, charm and comedy too.
Why is the film still relevant? The majority of this year’s batch of Oscar contenders consisted of movies based on true stories. Rome, Open City is not based on a specific individual, but does credibly recount real experiences and captures the glory of the inglorious, something which not only touches on history and politics, but more importantly human nature as well.