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Europa ’51

The second collaboration between Rossellini and Bergman chronicles the life of a wealthy American woman living in Rome who is thrown into turmoil when her young son commits suicide over what he perceived to be her lack of affection for him. The woman’s grief leads her to the realization that she has been living a shallow, bourgeois existence and propels her to change her ways. As if on a spiritual quest, she begins devoting her life to helping the less fortunate—a sick prostitute, an unwed mother with numerous children, and a young boy—all of which disturbs her husband in tragic reaction. While the film has been viewed as Rossellini’s vision of the state of the world in all its confusion, many also read it as an exploration of Ingrid Bergman’s personal struggle.

Genres: Neorealism

Other Films by Roberto Rossellini

Voyage to Italy

A reserved British couple (Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders) take a break from the chaos of London and retreat to the rugged landscape of Naples, only to find that outside of the structure of their everyday lives, the tedium of their marriage begins to emerge. Under the glistening surface of its minimal plot, Rossellini’s film

Stromboli

The film where Rossellini fatefully met Ingrid Bergman, STROMBOLI—like their later VOYAGE TO ITALY—is a semi-autobiographical portrait of its star’s stranger-in-a-strange-land predicament. Bergman plays a Lithuanian war refugee who marries a fisherman on the remote Sicilian island of Stromboli in order to escape an internment camp. Moving from the environmental reality that characterized his earlier