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
I almost turned this film off. I'm so glad I stayed with it. It's one of the best films I've seen. Cabiria, the street prostitute, is not sympathetic. She's rough, vulgar, not very attractive, a showoff, loud, proud, inelegant. I just didn't feel anything for her character at the beginning. But Fellini must have been reading my mind. He purposefully played it that way to draw the viewer in.
The streets of Rome are unforgiving and harsh for a prostitute. There are those who sleep in caves and in the archways. Cabiria braggingly says, "I've got my own house...here's one girl who's never slept under the arches. Well, maybe once. Twice maybe." By the end of the film I was completely hooked by her charm, desire, and hope. For hope is what keeps Cabiria going. A great film.
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