Roberto Rossellini (director) Roma città aperta (Rome, Open City) / 1945
At an early point in Robert Rossellini’s memorable film Open City, one character asks another whether or not the Americans really exist; he looks up to a ruined building, and comments something to the effect of “Yes, they exist.” By 1944, the year in which the events of the film presumably take place, Italy was already a defeated nation, Mussolini having been toppled. A civil war between the Nazi controlled northern provinces of the country, and the southern provinces controlled by the monarchist and liberal forces with soldiers fighting with the Italian Co-Belligerent Army was being waged. Declared an “open” city, Rome was anything but safe for Resistance and Communist fighters such as Giorgio Manfredi (Marcello Pagliero) and the underground printer Francesco (Francesco Grandjacquet). Ruled by the Italian puppet government controlled by the Nazis, the citizens of the Holy City were exhausted through deprivation and near-starvation. The long year ahead until War’s end seemed like a decade. And the Americans, even those stationed in the south, seemed far in the far distance.
a priest who is praying for him. He'll talk.