The Passion of Anna Magnani, an acclaimed documentary about the legendary Italian actress now on MHz Choice.

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An intimate portrait of the great Italian actress, a symbol of neorealism and an icon of the world’s film industry. The scene in Roberto Rossellini’s neorealist classic Rome, Open City (1945), where Anna is gunned down by the Nazis, brought the horrors of the war to cinema screens around the world and became the symbol of a new genre of film which took to the streets to tell the facts of real life. Anna is unique in the sense that she represents women in film, embodying a feminine model, which differed from all the other celebrities who came before and after her. She is a symbol of the true women, in opposition to those molded by male desire.

Thanks to her great skills as an actress, Magnani bolstered the realism of passions and feelings, and inspired some of the greatest European and American directors: Rossellini, Luchino Visconti, Federico Fellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Jean Renoir, Sidney Lumet, Daniel Mann, George Cukor and Stanley Kramer. She was awarded an Oscar in 1956 (to this day, the only Italian actress to receive one for an English-language film), and Hollywood tried in vain again to pin a stereotype on her, which didn’t suit her fiery and volcanic personality. A free woman, a single mother, and deeply attached to Rome and the “spirit of Rome”, Anna lived her friendships, relationships and passions with a risky and vital intensity, which she expressed through her art, giving her a unique, original and extremely modern style.

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