Thursday, May 22, 2008


Stromboli; Drama, Italy, 1950; D: Roberto Rossellini, S: Ingrid Bergman, Mario Vitale, Mario Sponzo, Renzo Cesana, Gaetano Famularo

Italy, '48. Karin is a young woman born on Lithuanian territory who illegally immigrated into Italy during World War II, where she was arrested and placed in a internment camp meant for people without a citizenship. Since her asylum for South America has been denied, she decides to marry soldier Antonio in order to stay in Italy. But when she moves into Antonio's home, located on volcanic island of Stromboli, she gets disappointed since it's dreary and backward. Karin can't tolerate the new environment, thus often argues with her husband. When she gets pregnant, he locks her up in the house, but she finds a lover and decides to leave the island with him.

Despite a few brilliant sequences and contemplative messages, drama "Stromboli" is one of the less successful achievements by Italian director and faithful follower of the Italian neorealism Roberto Rossellini. Moreover, "Stromboli" was back then and even today remembered more for the affair between Rossellini and actress Ingrid Bergman than for it's sole essence and brilliance. Still, even though it's more than obvious that the movie was shot without a finished script, it's hard to dispute it's quality - the scene in which Karin, who got married in order to get a citizenship, meets her new home, an old and isolated house on the backward island, and starts crying from despair, seems as if it's talking about the subconscious human fear: "Is this all my life has been reduced to?", whereas the scene in which the fishermen catch giant tunas is impressive and authentic, and the vague finale with the heroine climbing up the volcano has some points - thus making the movie not that much weaker than Rossellini's best films.


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