I vinti
(The Vanquished)

Screening on Film
Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni.
With Franco Interlenghi, Anna-Maria Ferrero, Evi Maltagliati.
Italy/France, 1953, 35mm, black & white, 110 min.
Italian, English and French with English subtitles.
Print source: Cinecittà Luce

Arguably his most conventional in form and content, Antonioni’s third feature film suffers from compromises made due to its controversial depiction of actual events. Antonioni had to concede to open and close the film with sensationalistic, blatant moralizing, decrying the “squalid reality” of “the burnt-out generation”:  the delinquent spawn of post-war bourgeoisie who are bored and alienated, seeking a cinematic idea of fame, fortune and the thrill of transgression. Under Antonioni’s poetic direction, however, the three stories in different cities – Rome, Paris and London – emerge as cultural, existential exposés in which the young, confused offenders unwittingly make bitter, valid points. The most radical alteration occurred in the Italian segment, in which the original protagonist was an impassioned Communist activist rather than the somewhat ambivalent ne’er-do-well who dabbles in smuggling to achieve a fleeting sense of independence.

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