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The Ferrarese lands, the scene of a constant contest between land and water, forged with the hard and dogged work of its people, has lent itself to Italian Cinema as an environment for dramatic stories, tormented lives, intense passions.

The city, the Po, the lagoons and the Delta, have always exercised a particular fascination over great directors, particularly Ferrarese like Michelangelo Antonioni -  who shot the documentary Gente del Po (People of the Po Valley) in 1943 - Florestano Vancini and Folco Quilici.
Then cinema discovered Ferrara and its river as scenery for tormented love stories like that acted by Massimo Girotti and Clara Calamai in Luchino Visconti's memorable Ossessione (Obsession) (1943) or alternatively the last part of Paisà (Paisan) (1946) by Roberto Rossellini that recounted the partisan struggle in the Po Delta. La donna del fiume (The River Girl) (1955) by Mario Soldati uses the same backdrop and made an international star of the young Sofia Loren.
Among the cinematic adaptations of the numerous novels set in Ferrara the most memorable are Bacchelli's Il mulino del Po (The Mill on the Po) directed by Lattuada in 1947, and films of works by Giorgio Bassani including La lunga notte del '43 (It happened in '43) by Vancini, Il giardino dei Finzi Contini (The Garden of the  Finzi Continis) and Gli occhiali d'oro (The Gold Rimmed Glasses) directed by Vittorio De Sica in 1970 and Giuliano Montaldo in 1987 respectively. The most renowned is certainly Il Giardino dei Finzi Contini, the story of a rich Jewish family affected by the racial laws in the Ferrara of 1938-1943.
In 1995 Antonioni - along with the director Wim Wenders - returned to the countryside between Ferrara and Comacchio to shoot a dramatic love story in Al di là delle nuvole (Beyond the Clouds).

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last modified Mar 12, 2020 04:10
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