Thu, Sep 24 7:30 pm

Director: Roberto Rosselini, Writer: Sergio Amidei, Federico Fellini, Roberto Rossellini (1945), NR, Italian with English subtitles. Awards: Cannes: Grand Prize, Oscar Nominated: Best Screen Play, National Board of Review, USA: Best Actress (Anna Magnani) Best Foreign Film, New York Film Critics Circle Awards: Bet Foreign Language Film

This world cinema landmark of neo-realist Italian filmmaking fills in the familiar contours of its storyline with three-dimensional characters (including an award-winning performance be Anna Magnani) and a narrative depth that add up to a towering – and still powerfully resonant – cinematic achievement. This was Roberto Rossellini’s revelation, a harrowing drama about the Nazi occupation of Rome and the brave few who struggled against it. Rome Open City is a shockingly authentic experience, conceived, directed and filmed amid the ruin of World War II.

Resistance leader Luigi Ferrari is pursued by Major Fritz Bergmann, a German intelligence officer who wants the name of others in the underground movement. Ferrari enlists the help of sympathetic priest Don Pietro Pellegrini to pass on funds to the fighters in case he is captured, but is accidentally betrayed by a former lover.