The time is the Russian Revolution. The place is a country burdened with fear - the midnight knock at the door, the bread hidden against famine, the haunted eyes of the fleeing, the grublike fat of the appeasers and oppressors. In a bitter struggle of the individual against the collective, three people stand forth with the mark of the unconquered in their bearing: Kira, who wants to be a builder, and the two men who love her - Leo, an aristocrat, and Andrei, a Communist. In their tensely dramatic story, Ayn Rand shows what the theories of Communism mean in practice. We the Living is not a story of politics but of the men and women who have to struggle for existence behind the Red banners and slogans. It is a picture of what dictatorship - of any kind - does to human beings, what kind of men are able to survive, and which of them remain as the ultimate winners. What happens to the defiant ones? What happens to those who succumb? Who are the winners in this conflict? Against a vivid ...
The Publisher of "We the Living"
The 1942 Film Classic Starring Alida Valli, Rossano Brazzi, and Fosco Giachetti
Did You Know?
The films We the Living
(1942) and Addio Kira!
(1942) were produced in 1942 in Italy ("Addio Kira" is part two of the story that begins in "Noi Vivi"). The films were made without the authorization, input, involvement, or, in fact, knowledge, of Ayn Rand
author of the underlying work, "We The Living". Because of the war and the fact that Rand was an American, the producers, Scalera Films, made no attempt to secure the underlying literary rights. In these films, the original story was severely corrupted due to addition of several gratuitous propaganda scenes ordered by the fascist party (they controlled all filmmaking in Italy at that time). After the war, Scalera attempted to get the underlying rights from Rand and was refused. Because of this "Noi Vivi" and "Addio Kira" were not and cannot be legally distributed (Rand eventually received wartime reparations from the government of Italy for the theft of her property). Many years later, the negatives of the two existing films were purchased by American filmmakers. Rand granted literary rights and authorized a new film version of "We The Living" to be created out the films on the condition that several significant changes were made. Most importantly, she wanted the propaganda scenes removed and the story to be told in a single film. Because of this, "We The Living", released in 1986, is significantly different from the two unauthorized films. The offending scenes and several subplots of the story have been removed. Running time is now a full hour less than the total of the two films. See more
Featured in Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life