Christ Stopped at Eboli

Screening on Film
Directed by Francesco Rosi.
With Gian Maria Volontè, Paolo Bonacelli, Alain Cuny.
Italy/France, 1979, 35mm, color, 220 min.
Italian with English subtitles.

The Harvard Film Archive is pleased to present the complete, uncut version of Francesco Rosi's moving portrait of resistance in the face of Fascism, a struggle sparked by the encounter between an exiled intellectual and a small Southern town where local traditions keep alive a spiritual and humanist imagination that points towards a new way of engaging and even reinventing the world. Originally made for Italian television as an epic miniseries, Christ Stopped at Eboli is nevertheless essential cinema, with the great Gian Maria Volonté simply mesmerizing as Carlo Levi, whose 1945 memoir of exile became an instant classic almost immediately considered for a film adaptation. Only later, however, would Rosi give Levi's book the carefully paced and painstakingly faithful screen version it so deserved: equally rich in documentary—and almost ethnographic—detail as poetic mystery, Christ Stopped at Eboli defines a vital coordinate of Italian cinema/literature, exploring its deep literary currents beyond Rosi himself, moving urgently somewhere between the poles of Calvino/Olmi and Moravia/Bertolucci.

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