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Italian Feminist Films
For my second installment of Italian Feminist Films, I will be telling you about, "Nights of Cabiria." The film was released in 1957 and directed by the famous, Federico Fellini. "Nights of Cabiria" stars, Giulietta Masina (Fellini's real-life wife) in a role as a sassy sex worker. Initially, Fellini had difficulty getting backing for the film, since no one in Italy wanted to produce a film which featured a sex worker as a heroine. In the first scene, Cabiria is likeable and you're immediately on her side. Though, how can you not be when suddenly her boyfriend steals her purse and pushes her into the river and she nearly dies? From the start, you want to see her survive--and survive she does.
Starting out my new column, Italian Feminist Films, I'm reviewing the 1949 film Riso Amaro, starring Silvana Mangano, Vittorio Gassman, Doris Dowling, and Raf Vallone. The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Story, and was also entered in the Cannes Film Festival. The title is based on a pun, as "riso" means both "rice" and "laughter" in Italian. (Spoilers ahead!)