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Rome Open City: Roma citta aperta (BFI Film Classics) Paperback – January 22, 2008
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Original Language: Italian
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Forgacs takes as his starting point Italo Calvino's remark that neo-realist works about the resistance were not 'direct representations of events in reality' but 'textual elaborations of already represented events'. Although the major stories depicted in the film - the street murder of a pregnant woman, the torture of a communist resistant, the execution of a dissident priest - were based on real events, they had already been mythologised in oral accounts, newspaper articles, diaries, paintings, sculptures etc., which representations Rossellini synthesised in his film.
More damagingly, the myth of Resistance offered in 'Rome Open City', which Forgacs suggests was necessary to displace collective guilt and anger as well as provide Romans with a narrative of unity and memory, evades or distorts the more troubling aspects of the Occupation - the natives' 20-year complicity with the Fascist regime; the collaboration of the Fascist police and their network of spies with the brutalities of the Germans; the silences and compromises of the Church. The deportations of the Jews, for instance, are not even mentioned.Read more ›