History

  • 1985
  • Movie
  • NR
  • War

An adaptation of the novel by Morante set in Italy between 1941 and 1947, HISTORY stars Cardinale as a half-Jewish schoolteacher in Rome who struggles to survive WW II and care for her sons while keeping her identity a secret. At the beginning of the film, Cardinale is the mother of teenager Schiavi. After Cardinale is raped by a German soldier, she gives...read more

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An adaptation of the novel by Morante set in Italy between 1941 and 1947, HISTORY stars Cardinale as a half-Jewish schoolteacher in Rome who struggles to survive WW II and care for her sons while keeping her identity a secret. At the beginning of the film, Cardinale is the mother of

teenager Schiavi. After Cardinale is raped by a German soldier, she gives birth to an epileptic child (Spada). As the war progresses, she and her children become the individual victims of historical trauma. Cardinale suffers from both fear of persecution and guilt over hiding her Jewish

background, Schiavi becomes involved with the Italian partisans, and the film's group of characters variously suffer and react under fascism and the occupational force of German soldiers. Although based on an acclaimed work, this film conveys neither the book's broad scope nor its intellectual

nuance, leaving only this "timeless" tale of a middle-aged Italian widow during the Mussolini years. Rather than make history live, director Comencini displays it like a cherished museum piece. Technically, HISTORY, which was financed by Italian television, looks and sounds fine. The use of stock

footage cannot compensate for the lack of 1940s grit, however, and potentially epic scenes are scaled too far down.

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  • Released: 1985
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: An adaptation of the novel by Morante set in Italy between 1941 and 1947, HISTORY stars Cardinale as a half-Jewish schoolteacher in Rome who struggles to survive WW II and care for her sons while keeping her identity a secret. At the beginning of the film,… (more)

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