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The White Sheik

Lo Sceicco bianco

Diretto da Federico Fellini
Italia, 1952
Commedia, Drammatico


Ivan Cavalli brings his new wife Wanda to Rome on the least romantic honeymoon in history, a rigid schedule of family meetings and audiences with the Pope. But Wanda, dreaming of the dashing hero of a photo-strip cartoon, drifts off in search of the White Sheik.

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The White Sheik Diretto da Federico Fellini


Through the course of her devastating awakening, it’s easy to feel bad for Wanda. “Life is a dream,” she dejectedly concedes, summarizing the core of Fellini’s fancy, “but sometimes a dream is a bottomless pit.” On the other hand, as enacted by high-tension Trieste, who had little prior acting experience, as opposed to Bovo, who had the year prior appeared in Vittorio De Sica’s thematically comparable Miracle in Milan, Ivan’s plight is equally tragic, albeit less heartbreaking.
January 20, 2018
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I would argue that Welles’ privileging of The White Sheik is entirely defensible, for a number of reasons — not least of which is the provinciality that forms its central subject, which Fellini identifies with as well as satirizes. Indeed, the film might even be seen as a distillation of Fellini’s vision of innocence and corruption that preceded the more stylistically elaborated versions of it.
April 28, 2003
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