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Paola, a Milan call girl, returns home to her village in an attempt to go straight. Rejected by her father, blackmailed by a former lover, and lusted after by her brother-in-law, she turns to her beloved sister for support.
Living in an Italian refugee camp in 1948, the beautiful Karin meets Antonio, a resident of the men's camp. Though not in love with him, Karin marries him and they soon head for his home village, Stromboli. The village is on a remote island at the foot of an active volcano. When they arrive Karin despairs of the barren land and the absence of people, as many have left, mostly for the United States. She doesn't speak the local dialect and is treated with disdain by locals who see her as an exotic foreigner and a loose woman. After Antonio beats her and locks her in their house, she sets off across the mountains to seek her freedom and a better future.Written by
During production of this film, Ingrid Bergman entered into an extra-marital affair with Roberto Rossellini and became pregnant. The resulting scandal in America effectively blacklisted her from the North American movie market and she was even condemned by politicians and religious figures. She was finally forgiven and welcomed back to America upon the success of Anastasia (1956), but her Hollywood career was temporarily ended by this movie. See more »
When the police officer is typing the report, he does not strike nearly enough keys to produce the amount of information shown on the paper. See more »
Old Man #1:
Volcano is a very dangerous. Sometime blow up and a lot of stones go up and come down right in floor and make big hole and burn everything. Like in 1944.
Why did you leave America?
Old Man #1:
I leave America. America's good for young fellows. I am old man and I come back to Stromboli.
Old Man #2:
This fellow too old and stupid in the head. I don't want to die here. I want to go back over to my son in Brooklyn. And he saves money for my trip. I am going back in Brooklyn in about ten years.
How old are you?
Old Man #2:
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Opening credits: "Our story begins in the displaced persons' camp of Farfa, Italy." See more »
Several running times exist. The main difference between the 81 min. US version and the 105 min. Italian version was in the ending, with religious themes cut out. See more »
An important page in Italian neorealism, but a flawed one
Rossellini's "Stromboli, terra di Dio" is a film on the line between fiction and reality more than usual for the acclaimed director. Most of the central part, where Karin just lives in Stromboli and complains about stuff was not written as in a normal screenplay: Rossellini chose possible elements of the environment or popular habits and filmed them in the movie, putting Karen in it like an extrernal observator. This has a double effect: neorealism comes to some of its highest achievements (like the tuna fishing and the eruption of the volcano) but to the loss of a fantastic actress such as Ingrid Bergman, who always feels out of place. Careful: I didn't say KAREN, I said BERGMAN. Because as a character she should be out of place, and she is even esthetically: she's always combed and white as the moon, while the inhabitants are rusty and dirty. But the actress herself is out of place in this film, and that is not a good thing at all. Her lines are dumb, repetitive, and Bergman actually did a great job managing to not disappear in such irrelevance. She still lives the scene, but her attempt is clearly forced into a new, uncharted territory as was Italian filmmaking for an American diva. We could say then that Ingrid is just as lost as her character.
What I just can't stand in this film is the necessity of squeezing the religious conversion (I'm talking about the Italian version of the film, American and International versions have slightly different endings for that time's commercial policies). It was the result of Rossellini's collaboration with powerful politicians and Church men, to be specific Giulio Andreotti and Felix Morlion, whose intention was to use a critically acclaimed author's cinema for political propaganda. I hate when other interests interfere with artistic purposes, and here the last moments are definitely flawed with an out of the blue realization of the power and existence of God for no good reason.
As I said before, neorealist features are what makes this film enjoyable and a classic. Apart from the brilliant scenes I mentioned above, I really liked the harsh depiction of the patriarchy that unfortunately still exists and thrives especially in the South of Italy. I actually felt bad and angry at Antonio as he jerks his wife with no respect and beats her like an animal, but I know very well that even today that is the norm in so many families and that simply pisses me off. Kudos to Rossellini for depicting that so realistically, but then again he's a great director exactly because of scenes like those.
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