To have and to hold, forever in history.
Dino Risi’s 1961 historical comedy “Una Vita Difficile” charts the history of Italy’s economic slumber and subsequent boom post-WWII. Never released in the U.S., the film now makes its New York City debut at Film Forum with a new 4K restoration.
IndieWire exclusively premieres the trailer for the Rialto Pictures feature, with the restoration carried out at VDM by Studiocanal.
In 1944, Roman student and ex-army lieutenant Silvio Magnozzi (Alberto Sordi) is on the run from the Germans. Elena (Lea Massari) saves Silvio’s life by killing a German soldier, and the duo becomes lovers, with their romance spanning decades and numerous locations.
The classic of commedia all’italiana stars one of Italy’s biggest box office attractions, Sordi, opposite Massari, in the story of an on-again, off-again, then on-again relationship told against 17 years of Italian history — from the last year of World War II to the economic boom of the early 1960s — as Sordi’s commitment to the Cause gets in the way of his earning a decent living for Massari and their newborn son.
“Una Vita Difficile” is produced by Dino De Laurentiis.
Director Risi, who famously helmed the follow-up film “Il Sorpasso,” said before his death in 2008 that his filmography is rooted in “political” films.
“Political cinema doesn’t necessarily mean the protagonists are workers and politicians,” Risi said in a press statement, courtesy of Marco Risi. “We’ve done so many boring films like that. Any film that represents and explores a moment in society is political.”
Risi reflected on the 1961 feature, saying, “‘Una Vita Difficile’ had very good reviews, which was strange because they generally panned me. A book about me seems to come out every month now, but the critics treated me very badly at the time. The Italians started giving me good reviews only after the French began to appreciate me. At the time, the critics favored leftist films where no one was allowed to laugh.”
The new 4K restoration of “Una Vita Difficile” premieres at Film Forum on February 3 and will expand to select markets nationally.
Check out the trailer below.
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