Open City (1945) IMDb


Anti-fascist tragedy. Usually referred to as the first of the Italian neorealist films, as it includes a lot of shooting on location in natural light (a practical choice; local studios and much equipment had been destroyed), unknown actors and a proximity to everyday events of the here and now: filmed during the occupation and immediately after the German forces left Rome, with Germans in some roles, on the varied scraps of inappropriate film available.


Nazi occupiers in Italy seek a number of figures in the resistance movement.


Italian neorealism is characterized by romantic humanism. In this case, the people of the resistance are associated with popular religion (portrayed entirely as a good thing), broad socialism (no clash there), courage and family, whereas the fascist opposition is materialist, decadent, sexually deviant and so on; several of the antagonists are insufficiently human. Incidentally, the director made films for the fascists, working under one of Mussolini’s sons.

This film deserves much of its reputation for starting a movement that undermined the whole idea of cinema as asynchronous theater. The eventual result was something independent as a medium and closer to reality, at least politically, geographically and in terms of acting.

fiction moving picture