Mamma Roma

Mamma Roma

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Mamma Roma

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Mamma Roma is a 1962 film directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini.


An ex-prostitute, Mamma Roma (Anna Magnani), tries to start a new life selling vegetables with her 16-year-old son Ettore (Ettore Garofolo). When he later finds out that she was a prostitute, he succumbs to the dark side with the petty theft of a radio in a hospital and goes to prison.


The lingering shots of Ettore, strapped to a prison bed in his underwear are seductive and haunting, as are shots of Mamma Roma walking at night, joined by different men in conversation, one after another in one continuous shot.

Pier Paolo Pasolini said that he wasn't able to rebirth Anna Magnani as she was in Roma, città aperta because, as an actor, she chose to maintain her independence from his artistic visions. "If I had to shoot the film over, I would have still chosen her", said Pasolini later.

Pasolini vs. Rossellini

Mamma Roma was dedicated to the director of Roma, città aperta (1945), Roberto Rossellini. Anna Magnani plays a pregnant woman who gets killed in the middle of Rossellini's film. Rossellini represents "good Italians" through the deaths of a priest, Don Pietro, who helps a communist group and a mother who tries to help her communist husband. People who killed these "good Italians" are Nazis. On the other hand, Pasolini comments on how the country changed from 1945 to 1962 in Mamma Roma. First of all, characters in the film are whores, pimps, and thieves....
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