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Mamma Roma

Pier Paolo Pasolini’s desperate, powerful take on post-Fascist redemption. Wolfish screen icon Anna Magnani is a gleaming, scheming force of nature as a retired Rome streetwalker striving to build a life for her coming-of-age son. In only his second film Pasolini leans heavily on his Neorealist elders with a bleak setting of tenements, street markets and shelled ruins, a naturalistic take on Italy’s disenfranchised. Through it all Magnani burns furious and bright – wilful, ambitious and ultimately tragic.

This text originally appeared in Total Film magazine

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