Scen.: Enrico Cerasuolo. F.: Marco Pasquini. M.: Marco Duretti. Prod.: Zenit Arti Audiovisive, Les Films du Poisson, Arte France. DCP. D.: 60’. Col.
This is an intimate portrait of the great Italian actress, a symbol of neorealism and an icon of the world’s film industry. The scene in Rome, Open City where Anna is gunned down by the Nazis, brought the horrors of the war to cinema screens around the world and became the symbol of a new genre of film, which took to the streets to tell the facts of real life.
Anna is unique in the sense that she represents women in film, embodying a feminine model that differed from all the other celebrities who came before and after her. She is a symbol of the true woman, in opposition to those moulded by male desire. Thanks to her great skills as an actress, Magnani bolstered the realism of passions and feelings, and inspired some of the greatest European and American directors: Roberto Rossellini, Luchino Visconti, Federico Fellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Jean Renoir, Sidney Lumet, Daniel Mann, George Cukor and Stanley Kramer. She was awarded an Oscar in 1956 (the only Italian actress to win one with an English-speaking film to this day), and Hollywood tried in vain once again to pin a stereotype on her that didn’t suit her fiery and volcanic personality.
A free woman, a single mother, and deeply attached to Rome and the ‘spirit of Rome’, Anna lived her friendships, relationships and passions with a risky and vital intensity, which she expressed through her art, giving her a unique, original and extremely modern style. The author talks with the actress in an imaginary conversation that guides us through her cinematic interpretations, her interviews, testimonies of the great characters who have crossed her career and memories of her son Luca. Based on the creative use of archives (including the family archives), the film contains exclusive audio from an interview with journalist and writer Oriana Fallaci.
Gian Luca Farinelli