10. Rome, Open City (1945)

Film 4 in C4 Top 100 War Films

I really didn’t know what to expect of Roberto Rossellini’s Roma, Città Aperta. An example of the post-war Neorealistic cinema, it follows two characters living in Rome in the last few months of the Second World War. Italy is under Nazi occupation and the people live in fear of the retribution that their old ally dishes out on them.

Difficult to watch in a number of ways, not least the poor film quality, due in part to bad post-processing, but also an attempt by the director to give his film a realistic, documentary look. It’s brutal and shocking – I can’t say it was enjoyable and I am not sure I will ever try to watch it again, but it is a powerful film.


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