Karen, a young woman from the Baltic countries, marries fisherman Antonio to escape from a prisoners camp. But the life in Antonio's village, Stromboli, threatened by the volcano, is a tough one and Karen cannot get used to it.
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Living in an Italian refugee camp in 1948, the beautiful Karen meets Antonio, a resident of the men's camp. While not in love with him, Karen marries him and they soon set of for his home village, Stromboli. The village is on a remote island at the foot of an active volcano. She despairs at what she finds when she arrives. The village is on barren land and virtually devoid of people as many have left, mostly for the United States. She doesn't speak the local dialect and is treated with disdain by some of the 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 »
Though used by women, pants were not so popular on that time. Is strange that a poor refugee like the character played by Bergman wears pants almost the entire movie. See more »
I am your wife. And this is your home. But, I have to live in it too and I'm not an animal.
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Opening credits: "Our story begins in the displaced persons' camp of Farfa, Italy." See more »
"Stromboli" is a fascinating examination of suffering, desperation, faith and the desire for redemption. I've never liked Rossellini's films as much as Bresson's but I think the two directors often dealt with the same themes in similar ways, with minor stylistic variations. Where Rossellini used actors and non-actors who gave performances, Bresson used models and types who were instructed to remain impassive. Where Rossellini's films focused on passionate characters and emotional situations, Bresson approached his stories with a scientist's dispassion. I've always found Rossellini's films strange they are often parables that invest heavily in domestic melodrama and the histrionics of their characters. Nevertheless, I think "Stromboli" is one of his most successful films. Karin suffers so much--a war refugee, internment camp resident and then harried wife and social pariah on a desolate island--that it is easy to see how she is blind to faith. Despite her eventual redemption Rossellini doesn't paint Karin as a saint. Her protestations regarding the social politics of the island develop into a crusade to transgress their customs and protocols, often in self-righteous objection to the constraints placed on her. And her willingness to exploit her sexuality further confirms her all too human (and flawed) nature. The scenes where Karin attempts to seduce the priest and later seduces the lighthouse keeper are brimming with carnal sensuality. Bergman, as always, is excellent.
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