Era notte a Roma AKA Blackout in Rome (1960)
Stylistically an intriguing (and not wholly successful) mixture of Rossellini's early 'realism', Bergman-period melodrama, and the contemplative didacticism of his later films, this return to the milieu of Nazi-occupied Rome may not have the raw power of Rome, Open City, but is immensely affecting all the same. Three escaped Allied PoWs - a Brit, an American and a Russian - take refuge in the home of Roman black marketeer Ralli, whose Communist lover (Salvatori) is executed when they are betrayed by a corrupt, Nazi-collaborator priest. On one level, it's a fairly straightforward suspense movie, detailing the countless threats to the safety of the fugitives and the woman who provides sanctuary; on another, it's an unsentimental, Paisà-like celebration of the shared humanity that allows the various characters to communicate with one another despite linguistic differences and the wariness born of perilous circumstance. An uneven, flawed, but very intelligent work of enormous humanity.
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