1948. Italy. Luigi Zampa. 113 min.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012, 4:30 p.m.
Theater 1 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 1), T1
1948. Italy. Directed by Luigi Zampa. Screenplay by Vitaliano Brancati, Sergio Amidei, Franco Evangelisti, Enrico Fulchignoni. With Umberto Spadaro, Massimo Girotti, Delia Scala. The postwar Italian writer-director Luigi Zampa, who deserves a retrospective all his own, earned a reputation for tough and uncompromising critiques of Italian society, exposing political corruption, clerical abuses, wartime complicity, and class exploitation in the Neorealist dramas Vivere in Pace (To Live in Peace) (1946), Anni difficili, and Campagne a martello (The Bells Toll) (1949). Anni difficili opens in 1934 as a low-level government clerk is blackmailed by the local mayor into joining the Fascist party, reluctantly casting his fate with the countless “ordinary” Italians who, out of fear, complacency, ambition, and nostalgia, embraced Mussolini’s vainglorious promises while choosing to ignore his crimes. Anni difficili was viciously attacked by the right-wing press and caused a national scandal, but enjoyed a successful U.S. release in 1950, with prominent progressives Arthur Miller and John Garfield providing voiceover narration for the English-language version. Preserved by the National Museum of Cinema, Turin. In Italian; English subtitles. 113 min.
In the Film exhibition To Save and Project: The 10th MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation
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