The theme of the murders and crimes of passion has always been a source of inspiration for the big and small screen since the dawn of cinema. Neorealism, the cultural trend originated in Italy in the early 40s, shows how this subject has been treated in its various aspects. The first neorealist movie is Ossessione (Obsession) by Luchino Visconti: it is the story of two lovers Gino Costa and Giovanna who decide to kill her husband by simulating a car accident. The thrilling event will end with her death and Gino’s arrest.
Another important exponent, considered one of the last great representatives of Italian neorealism, is Pietro Germi with his movie Lost Youth. Some bloody scenes of violence, in particular those of the robbery at the university, would be “disappeared” from movie. Lost Youth underlines the theme of juvenile crime, in particular in the bourgeoisie , which was an extremely living matter during the postwar years.
But the manifesto of Neorealism, considered a world masterpiece, is Rome, Open City directed by the unforgettable Roberto Rossellini. The movie shows the events that took place during the years of the Italian Resistance, the violent killings by Germans, the Allies’ landing, the partisan war, the tortures perpetrated by the Gestapo and the SS and the shooting of Don Pietro, one of the movie’s main characters played by Aldo Fabrizi.
With an extraordinary cast, Rome, Open City received the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival in 1946, two Silver Ribbons for Best Director and Best Supporting Actress (Anna Magnani) and was nominated for an Academy Award for best Original Screenplay.