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Roberto Rossellini (1906-1977)

Related: Open City - (1945) - film - director - Italian cinema - neorealism


Roberto Rossellini (May 8, 1906 - June 3, 1977), was an Italian film director. Rossellini was one of the most important directors of Italian neorealist cinema, contributing films such as Roma città aperta to the movement. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roberto_Rossellini [Dec 2004]

Nazism as some form of sexual 'perversion'

The representation of Nazism as some form of sexual 'perversion' can be seen again in Roberto Rossellini's Germany Year Zero (1948) where the school teacher who contributes to the moral malaise of and leading to the suicide of the young teenager by imposing his ideas of euthanasia upon him is a pedophile. That Roberto Rossellini was asked to make this film by the Soviet occupation authorities at the time points to a certain collusion in offering explanations for Nazism mutually convenient to both the Stalinist authorities and the Catholic Church.

This sexual demonization of Nazism would be considered by many critics today as a rather shameful and apolitical approach to the causes, shaping and ideological attractions of Nazism. In this context it is important to remember that one of the first targets of the Nazis as soon as they came to power was the ritual book-burning followed by closure of the Institute for Sexual Science established by Magnus Hirschfeld (Evans, Richard 2003). The well known persecution of Freud and neo-Freudians such as Wilhelm Reich as well as the official ideology of Kinder, Kuche, Kirche show that Roberto Rossellini's approach is both gratuitous and conservative. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rome%2C_open_city [Dec 2005]

The Miracle (1948) - Roberto Rossellini

Description of the Art Work
The 40 minute film, "The Miracle," featured Anna Magnani as a peasant woman who believed that she was the Virgin Mary. The film was imported into the United states in 1949 by a Polish-Jewish immigrant Joseph Burstyn.

Description of incident
"The Miracle" was released in Italy in 1948 despite of the views of the Catholic Church. Although the film made it through U.S. customs without trouble from the official censors, the Board of Regents came under heavy pressure from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese to revoke the films license on the ground that the work was "sacrilegious." "The Miracle" lost its license and the films distributor, Joseph Burstyn, appealed the decision. The New York Appeals Court backed the Board of Regents decision.

Results of incident
The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the decision in 1952, pointing out that it was unconstitutional for government bodies to impose religious orthodoxies on film or any other art and that "a state may not ban a film on the basis of a censor's conclusion that it is sacrilegious" furthermore, "It is not the business of government... to suppress real or imagined attacks upon a religious doctrine, whether they appear in publications, speeches or motion pictures." --http://simr02.si.ehu.es/FileRoom/documents/Cases/66rossellini.html [Dec 2005]

Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v. Wilson (docket #: 522) was a landmark legal decision, called the Miracle Decision, in 1952 where the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that film is a artistic medium that is entitled to protection under the First Amendment

The issue
Whether a New York Education Law that prohibited the commercial showing of any motion picture film without a license, and authorized denial of a license on a censor’s conclusion that a film was "sacrilegious," violated the First Amendment. Could the New York Board of Regents ban Roberto Rossellini’s “The Miracle” under regulations barring "sacrilegious" films? --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Burstyn,_Inc._v._Wilson [Dec 2005]

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0040092/combined [Dec 2005]

Siamo Donne (1953) - Various

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0046309/combined [Dec 2005]

La Paura (1954) - Roberto Rossellini

La Paura (1954) - Roberto Rossellini
Image sourced here.

See also: angst - feeling - emotion - 1954 - Roberto Rossellini

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