The Aurora Film Society brings “Rome, Open City” to the screen at the Aurora Regional Fire Museum on September 22nd at 7pm.
The film depicts a wide cross section of Romans who, despite their obvious social, economic, and religious differences, are united in their suffering during the German occupation. Pina (played by Anna Magnani) is a widowed pregnant working-class mother of two children; her fiance Francesco (Francesco Grandjacquet), works for a communist newspaper and aids the ; resistance (Maria Michi) is a nightclub singer whose desire for love and normality leads to collaboration with the enemy; Marina’s former boyfriend, Giorgio Manfredi, who is also known as Luigi Ferraris (Marcello Pagliero), is a resistance leader hunted by the Nazis; and Don Pietro Pellegrini (Aldo Fabrizi) is a lovable priest who musters unexpected bravery and courage to aid the resistance. Don Pietro and Manfredi are eventually caught by the Gestapo, and Manfredi is tortured in front of the priest, who refuses to betray his friend (who is an atheist) or his faith. Don Pietro’s relationship with Manfredi, and Pina’s pending (Roman Catholic) marriage to a communist, reflect the united front that developed among those in the resistance movement in their struggle against the Nazis.