Rocco and His Brothers (1960)

Rocco and His Brothers
Directed by Luchino Visconti
Written by Luchino Visconti, Suso Cecchi D’Amico, Pasquale Festa Campanile, Massimo Franciosa and Enrico Medioli
(number 298)

Content warning for this movie: rape, victim forced into relationship with rapist, murder.

A three hour film about poor people in Milan and a girl who comes between some brothers. It’s well put together, stunning framing, great locations and well acted.

I suspect I lose a lot of context by not being familiar at all with Italy and the geography and of what that means. Beside Rosario’s family all being from the country and feeling out of place in the city I feel I’m missing some class intricacies which I can only guess at. It’s a pity I didn’t enjoy it enough to pay full attention and really absorb it, but my neck and shoulders are sore from the physio and I just want the movie over with.

It reminds me very much of the similar era French films I’ve watched – perhaps because of the stunning good looks and styling of the atcors, perhaps just because it plays as a sort of slice of life drama about pretty ordinary people.

Does it make me love the people? I.. Like yeah, Rocco and Nadia but also… Rocco is so weak and self sacrificing and it’s off putting. He’s cute as a button though which does help. I don’t know. This movie is one of those ‘everyone’s an asshole’ kind of situations.

Nadia is a pretty classic woman character trope. The sex worker who they all know is a sex worker but go ahead and fall in love with her anyway and then use her status as a sex worker as a weapon against her. She is largely a reactive character, living in this world where the men can do whatever to her and she’s basically powerless. Not fun.

Simone can go die in a hole, what a total jerky jerk of a rapey character.

Bechdel test: Yes, early on Rosario and Ginetta argue over where Rosario can or cannot stay. (Not in Ginetta’s apartment)

Best line:

Rocco: I’d like to join you, but I’ve just sent all my money to my brother.

(Okay that wasn’t strong. Script wise it wasn’t exactly full of zingers.)

State of Mind: I didn’t enjoy this one. I don’t like the treatment of Nadia or most of the women, I didn’t like most of the brothers, the storyline was long and meandering. Overall just didn’t grab me. It’s pretty but I didn’t much enjoy it and the violence against Nadia is unpleasant. Not one I’ll watch again.

Watched movie count


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