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Rome Open City: Roma citta aperta (BFI Film Classics) Paperback – January 22, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 79 pages
  • Publisher: British Film Institute (December 27, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0851708048
  • ISBN-13: 978-0851708041
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.2 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #595,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Italian

About the Author

David Forgacs is Professor of Italian at University College of London.

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By darragh o'donoghue on December 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
David Forgacs' monograph on 'Rome Open City' is as thorough an examination of a major cinematic milestone as you could hope for. Roberto Rossellini's breakthrough film, the story of Resistance activity during the German Occupation of Rome 1943-44, was conceived, made and released in the immediate aftermath of the Liberation, and was exultantly acclaimed as a new kind of cinema, where documentary-style authenticity (largely non-professional cast, basis in recent history, real locations etc.) were seen as an answer to the lies of Fascist film in particular, and the illusions of commercial cinema in general, heralding the Golden Age of Neo-Realism.
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Parlamento on July 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's been awhile since I read/taught this book (in a Film History course some 10 yrs ago); however, I remember it offering a very smart contextualized reading of the film, especially w/regard to the sources (newspaper stories), production history (shooting in occupied Rome) and reception (how the film resonated with Italian and international audiences). And, yes, what was superb was the demythologizing of the film through such contextualization. It's an excellent book for the classroom situation, much better than some of the other BFI classics in terms of offering a wide-lens on a film.
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