(Viva l'Italia!)

Screening on Film
Directed by Roberto Rossellini.
With Renzo Ricci, Paolo Stoppa,Franco Interlenghi.
Italy, 1961, 35mm, color, 138 min.
Italian with English subtitles.
Print source: Cineteca Nazionale

After the success of General della Rovere (1959), Rossellini received a commission to make a film commemorating the centennial of Garibaldi's invasion of Sicily, the same events depicted by Blasetti in 1860. Working with a fairly ample budget, clearly visible in the number of extras and the film's realistic costumes, Rossellini balances finely crafted scenes of historical exposition with nonstop action that reveal the measure of Rossellini's popular ambitions at the time. Nevertheless, his brilliant experiments abound, such as long takes within powerful battle sequences using only subtle zooms to vary the framing. An often underrated product of Rossellini's commercial period from the early 1960s, Viva l'Italia! attempts to demystify the hero and the history in sweeping, expansive strokes. – DP

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Viva l'Italia!
The Risorgimento on Screen

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