Anna Magnani: Playing theTruth | Giuliana Militelo


Playing the Truth’ (a documentary tale on Italian actress’ Anna Magnani’s life and career) shed light on one of the most iconic and internationally renowned Italian actresses of all time.

The film ‘RomeOpenCity’ (1945) launched Italian Neo-Realist Cinema of the post war era, and made Magnani an international star. Her acting, known as volcanic and passionate reflected her real, larger- than-life persona.

The documentary covers her Academy Award winning role in ‘TheRoseTattoo’, written by Tennessee Williams. Williams wrote the part with Magnani in mind, and she starred alongside Burt Lancaster who later said she was the greatest actress he had ever worked with. Although lifelong friends with Williams, their friendship was also tumultuous, so much so that the stage play ‘Roman Nights’ is based on the pair, and has received much critical acclaim.

Magnani did indeed ‘play the truth’. The emblem of the strong woman, she was both feisty and vulnerable at the same time. In an era where women were often pretty puppets on equally pretty strings, it was refreshing to see a force so raw and relatable – she represented overcoming the struggle, a true war survivor.

Is there an actor in World Cinema that you particularly admire?

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