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Little Ancient World
(Piccolo Mondo Antico)

Screening on Film
Directed by Mario Soldati.
With Alida Valli, Massimo Serato, Ada Dondini.
Italy, 1942, 35mm, color, 106 min.
Italian with English subtitles.
Print source: Cineteca Nazionale

Though little-seen in the US since its release during WWII, Italy's equivalent to Gone With the Wind was also inordinately popular, imbued with nostalgia and based on a novel that set a melodramatic romance against a backdrop of major historical events. The events here are those of the Risorgimento, and the love and heartbreak are those of a nobleman and his humbly born beloved. Cut off by his family for marrying below his station, he faces war fighting the Austrians and a different kind of war with a vengeful grandmother and neglected wife. An established writer before turning to film, Soldati constructed Alida Valli's star vehicle and what remains his best known film. – DP

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Viva l'Italia!
The Risorgimento on Screen

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