An extremely rare film by Roberto Rossellini, his third feature, made under the Fascist control of Italy. Basically rejected after the War because of the Fascist content of the film, “Rossellini produces a work which focuses upon the Italian expeditionary forces on the Eastern Front and upon a Catholic chaplain representative of Italy’s religious majority… The principal character’s humanity and sacrifice seem to prefigure the good-natured priest of Rome, Open City who works with leftist Resistance leaders… Rossellini underlines the common humanity in Fascist and Bolshevik alike.” (Peter Bonadella) —1worldfilms.com
Rossellini was one of the directors of the Italian neorealist cinema, contributing films such as Roma città aperta (Rome, Open City 1945) to the movement.
In 1937, Rossellini made his first documentary, Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune. After this essay, he was called to assist Goffredo Alessandrini in making Luciano Serra pilota, one of the most successful Italian films of the first half of the 20th century. In 1940 he was called to assist Francesco De Robertis on Uomini sul Fondo.His close friendship with Vittorio Mussolini, son of Il Duce, has been interpreted as a possible reason for having been preferred to other apprentices.
Some authors describe the first part of his career as a sequence of trilogies. His first feature film, La nave bianca (1942) was sponsored by the audiovisual propaganda centre of Navy Department and is the first work in Rossellini’s “Fascist Trilogy”, together with Un pilota ritorna (1942) and Uomo dalla Croce (1943). To this period belongs… read more