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1860

Screening on Film
Directed by Alessandro Blasetti.
With Giuseppe Gulino, Aida Bellia, Gianfranco Giachetti.
Italy, 1934, 35mm, black & white, 75 min.
Italian with English subtitles.
Print source: Ripley's Film

Considered today the most significant Italian filmmaker to emerge during the 1930s, Alessandro Blasetti is best known for this great masterpiece. 1860 is the story of Garibaldi's invasion of Sicily told from the viewpoint of a newly married shepherd and the wife he leaves behind when he joins the fight against occupying Bourbon forces. With its use of location shooting and non-professional actors, the film is justly considered an important forerunner of neorealism, though the original version artfully concludes with a sequence set in Mussolini's Rome which Blasetti excised after WWII. Regarded as more nationalistic than fascist, 1860 is subtly detailed with complex battle scenes and a variety of dialects – articulating the voices of ordinary people in epic circumstances. – DP

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