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Born: Naples, Italy, 15 November 1922.

Francesco Rosi (JPG, 18 KB)

A former law student, book illustrator, and radio reporter and performer, he entered Italian films in the late 40s as assistant to Visconti, later also working under Emmer, Monicelli, and Antonioni, as an assistant and screenwriter. He made his directorial debut early in the 50s, completing a film for Goffredo Alessandrini, and won a Special Jury Prize at the 1958 Venice Festival for his first solo film, La Sfida / The Challenge. He emerged as a major talent in the early 60s with Salvatore Giuliano (1962), a masterly reconstruction of a police inquiry into the life and death of a legendary Sicilian bandit, for which Rosi was named best director at the Berlin Film Festival, and Hands Over the City (1963), a powerful probe of corruption in Naples, winner of the Golden Lion at Venice. Other outstanding efforts followed in a similar neodocumentary style, notably The Mateti Affair (1972), another relentless investigation of political corruption, which shared the Golden Palm at Cannes, Illustrious Corpses (1975), Three Brothers (1981), and an exhilarating rendition of Carmen (1984). The last two of these earned the director the David di Donatello Awards. Rosi is an aggressive, uncompromising social crusader, a journalist with a camera, working in the traditions of postwar Italian neorealism. His world is usually that of the economically poor and politically corrupt Italian south, and he depicts it with blunt, unadorned directness. He has collaborated on the scripts of all of his own films.

Ephraim Katz, The Film Encylopedia

Internet Movie Database

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This page was last updated on 3 September 2000.