Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini
Written by Pier Paolo Pasolini
First viewing/Netflix rental
I loved my introduction to director Pier Paolo Pasolini. I’m looking forward to the rest of his work.
Mamma Roma (Anna Magnanni) is a successful streetwalker and force of nature. She finally ditches her pimp who has gotten married. Mamma now has saved enough to buy a nice flat and market stall and to bring her son back from the countryside where he has been raised by a respectable family.
Unfortunately, Mamma’s pimp is not cut out for married life and will not leave her alone. The story follows the journey of her son from innocent to criminal and Mamma’s heartbreak.
I didn’t know what to expect and was a little nervous knowing that Pasolini also directed Salo. I needn’t have worried. This is a beautiful combination of sublime classical music and cinematography with unflinchingly gritty real life. It is one of the few movies where the largely non-professional cast is totally convincing. I thought this was one of Magnanni’s best performances in a career full of great ones. Recommended.
Clip – no subtitles but not really needed