Cabiria is a wide-eyed waif, a streetwalker living in a poor section of Rome where she owns her little house, has a bank account, and dreams of a miracle. We follow her nights (and days): a boyfriend steals 40,000 lire from her and nearly drowns her, a movie star on the Via Veneto takes her home with him, at a local shrine she seeks the Madonna's intercession, then she meets an accountant who's seen her, hypnotized on a vaudeville stage, acting out her heart's longings. He courts her. Is it fate that led to their meeting? Is this finally a man who appreciates her for who she is? Written by
It's hard to tell which Fellini's film leads the way; "8 1/2", "La Dolce vita", "La strada", "Amarcord" and so many more, you just can't choose.
But, when it comes to this beautiful picture, things become clearer. It's not just the amazing perfomance by Giullietta Masina, it's not just the wonderful, semi-crazy characters wondering around the screen and emphasizing Kabiria's sad and lonely world, it's -and that's the film's greatest quality- this sense of optimism that Fellini wants the viewer to take with him/her as he/she is leaving the theater. The master takes everything from his heroin but at the end he wants to convey one simple, eassy-to-grip but so essential message: "Please, don't give up". The power of the film's last ten minutes is unpreceded in the world of movies and, sad to say, never again have we seen such an amazing finale. This is a must-see film, and, most important of all, a film so generous to its viewers that one time is not enough. A total 9/10
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