Film Mamma Roma by Pasolini

This video says about itself:

Anna Magnani is Mamma Roma in the Pier Paolo Pasolini cult movie.

The film Mamma Roma, by Pier Paolo Pasolini, was today shown in Hilversum in the Netherlands.

This was a reconstructed version. Before the film proper started, a screen in (not subtitled) Italian said that the reconstructors so far had not yet found all of Pasolini’s original footage. So, the film is not 100% complete. Which is a shame, considering that probably many films with less artistic value have been conserved far better.

This film was banned in the United States for thirty-three years. Probably both prudery and anti communism played a role in this. Prostitutes play an important role in the film. However, unlike what US moralists would have wanted, the basic message of the film is that capitalist society is morally much worse than individual prostitutes. Though director Pasolini was a communist, the film mentions the word “communist” only once. That happens when Mamma Roma, the title role, an ex prostitute who wants to play by the rules of class society hierarchy and the Roman Catholic church, reacts to her son Ettore. Ettore complains that at his job as a waiter in a posh Rome restaurant, rich people treat poor people like dirt. Anna Magnani then says that she does not want her son to listen to communists. Thus, cutting off a possible escape for her son from the road to his ruin and early death.

Mamma Roma has much love and excellent intentions for her son. These good intentions, however, lead to disastrous results. Mamma Roma takes her son away from the countryside, birds in nature, and his farm boy friends, as she wants him to befriend “respectable” city boys. However, after Ettore and his mother move to a middle class Rome neighbourhood, Ettore’s new city friends entangle him in crime. Finally, while suffering from fever, he clumsily tries to steal in a hospital, gets arrested, and dies in prison.

In grief, Mamma Roma tries to commit suicide. However, her friends show that they care about her; solidarity as an alternative to the dog eat dog capitalism which had influenced Mamma Roma’s ideas. These final images may also have contributed to the decades long ban of the film in the USA.

Vittorio de Sica’s Bicycle Thieves has always featured in the critics’ top 10, not least because it is considered an inspiration for realist cinema throughout the world: here.

Film director Mario Monicelli, who, together with Luigi Comencini, Dino Risi and scriptwriter Stefano Vanzina, established the commedia all’italiana film genre in the late 1950s, took his life on November 29. The 95-year-old filmmaker leapt from the fifth floor of San Giovanni hospital in Rome where he was being treated for prostate cancer: here.

3 thoughts on “Film Mamma Roma by Pasolini

  1. Pingback: Singer Maria Callas, new film | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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