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A barber, murderer because of jealousy, spends twenty years in jail. He cannot, however adjust himself to a changed world and to the hypocracy of his own relatives and decides to return ... See full summary »
In part one, The Human Voice, a woman alone speaks on the telephone to her lover, who has broken off the affair to marry someone else. He calls her several times in one night: he lies, she apologizes, she takes the blame, she weeps, she pleads, she asks a favor. Her pain and desperation drive the simple story. In part two, The Miracle, a homeless woman believes that a man she encounters on a hillside is Saint Joseph; he takes advantage of her. When she discovers she is pregnant, she knows it's a miracle. Other villagers mock her, and she has the baby alone, near a locked church, in the straw of a goat shed.Written by
After the opening credits we see a title that says "This film is an homage to the art of Anna Magnani" and that's exactly what this powerful Rossellini film is about. Magnani dominates both sections of "L'Amore" and is quite remarkable. In the first section which is called "Una Voce Umana"(The Human Voice), Magnani plays a woman in her bedroom who makes a desperate telephone call with her former husband. It is mostly comprised of close-ups of Magnani's grieving face, anticipating those of Rossellini's films starring Ingrid Bergman. In the second section, "Il Maracolo"(The Miracle), Magnani is a peasant who meets and is seduced by a vagabond whom she thinks is Saint Joseph. Though the villagers incessantly ridicule her, she thinks is pregnant with a Christ baby, something that angered the censors and religious groups, ultimately dubbing as "blasphemous". "The Miracle" section is by far the most powerful and provocative". It is characterized by overt Christian symbolism and some gorgeous shots of the countryside. Rossellini makes the viewer aware of the overpowering presence of the environment, itself another character. The scenes where Magnani is lying on the ground surrounded by animals are particularly ravishing and beautiful.
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