Mamma Roma. 1962. Italy. Written and directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini. With Anna Magnani, Ettore Garofolo, Franco Citti. In Italian; English subtitles. 107 min.
In postwar Rome, Mamma is ready to give up her life as a prostitute and bring her son, Ettore, from the countryside to live with her in the city. Having managed to save up and buy an apartment in a respectable neighborhood, she hopes Ettore will go to school, train for a good job, meet a kind woman, and marry. But Ettore is lazy and self-absorbed, taking for granted the gains his mother provides. Magnani is a powerhouse of maternal emotion and devotion in this, Pasolini’s second feature.