NeoWeb: The Italian Neorealist Homepage


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Introduction

Italian neorealism is one of the most historically influenced periods of cinema. Rooted in Italian resistance of northern Italy during the close of World War II, the movement is greatly influenced by sociohistorical factors of the time. From its earliest days during the resistance against the German occupation, to the devastating aftermath of the War and the hopelessness of reconstruction that ensued, neorealism painted a picture of "real" Italian life from 1943 to 1952. Few other periods of film history are so deeply influenced by the political ideal and social history of their time. Italian neorealist film parallels the changing political and social hopes and realities of its time. In particular, as the social institutions of Italy became increasingly complex with the reconstruction, neorealism's presentation of social problems went from having a clear cut victim and oppressor relationship as in Open City, to having grayed out lines of good and bad, concealing who was truly at fault for the problems at hand. Similarly, the movement reflects how the feeling of hope for a renewed society of equity slowly faded away to be replaced by the darker reality of hopelessness and disparity in the future on the part of the lower-classes.


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This page is maintained by Erik Voigt. Check out Erik's homepage or contact via e-mail: voigte@carleton.edu