she is a life" (newspapers after Anna Magnani's death)
After seeing this documentary and several of Anna Magnani's most popular movies, I thought why this person was so much beloved, so appreciated by various people, not necessarily movie buffs. On the one hand, one could absorb the way of thinking widespread in the world of fame and ask oneself: Isn't it paradoxical that such a simple woman (at first sight) as Anna Magnani became one of the greatest "stars" of European cinema, one of symbols of Rome? On the other hand, one could get rid of this limited view of category and say: she has never made herself a star or talked about herself in these terms, no one badly wanted to get her autograph; yet, she fulfilled the utmost: doing her best to create a wonderful cinema of genuine art and high taste...therefore, she was so appreciated, therefore, she became the true Actress-Artist. Yes, absolutely the second view resembles her phenomenon and gives the answer for the absorbing question. Here lies the very genius of Anna Magnani: the one we remember from films, the one we find so magically shy, the one we find in this documentary.
The film supplies us with a clear picture of the life and career. It introduces Anna Magnani from two sources: footages from her historic films where we can still admire her marvelous acting and interviews with actors, directors and producers. I think that three people give the most touching tribute to her: Marcello Mastroianni, Franco Zeffirelli and Giulietta Masina. Listen to their words carefully and you'll realize how genuine they are. There are also footage interviews with Anna Magnani where she talks about herself, her experience, her career, her nature. The most memorable for me is her quote about courage that life taught her. We see a rather shy and simple person of incredible talent proved in better or worse films (for her) but (for us today) all films of great value.
There are no longer such actresses-symbols as Anna Magnani was: we can only dream of this world of yore similarly to how she dreamed of the Rome she had once known and lost forever. She could not realize that people had gone so mad... Therefore, at the end of seeing this documentary, I thought to myself that Anna had something in common with Pina whom she portrayed in Rossellini's ROMA CITTA APERTA: she also defended something, lived for some important ideal to which she was faithful till the end of her life. Has she believed in the future of art? Has she believed that the future of cinema would go on in genuine wonder of creative ideas?
To understand her and identify with her dream, an insight into her personality is crucial. This insight is well supplied by this documentary I heartily recommend you to see. Then, you will probably say: "Anna Magnani, we will not disappoint you" 8/10
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