In 1944, British officer Norman Lewis participated in the landing at Salerno and the liberation of Naples by the Allied Forces, later telling his experience in a detailed diary, Naples '44. Francesco Patierno approaches to the words of Lewis, read in the version English by Benedict Cumberbatch and the Italian Adriano Giannini, hundreds of archive images taken from the Istituto Luce archives but also, among others, Getty images and British PathA. What emerges is a visual story of an Italy Southern exhausted by the war, so the arrival of the Allies has been as much a liberation as a threat to its integrity. Naples '44 describes the misery, hunger and humiliation of the Neapolitans through a wealth of evidence, as well as those taken from the documentary also clips from The Four days of Naples and Catch 22 , Paisa and who hesitates is lost , the skin and the King of Poggioreale , to name just some highlights. The comment in voice out of range of an Anglo-Saxon who observes reality devastated with eyes of an entomologist, even more than an anthropologist, arouses in the spectator a deep sense of unease, not unlike the shame that many Italians have tried to compare their miserable condition with being represented (and sometimes ostentatious) by the Allied troops. The joy of the end of the war approached the mortification of an entire city committed to contend for cigarettes and chocolate launched by the Anglo-Saxon jeep, or sell their bodies for a ration can or a pair of silk stockings. But in the eyes of Lewis there is no condescension or cruelty, only a deep piety and a genuine affection for the characters as 'uncle of Rome', which Patierno brilliantly depicts with images of Toto of Naples millionaire . His stay in the city reduced to a pile of rubble, populated by ghosts without shoes bundled up in clothes made from army blankets, assaulted by lice, typhoid and smallpox, is a journey in a circle of hell and at the same time deep humanity lesson. Above all, it is a heartfelt complaint but never melodramatic (because told with apparent detachment British) of the devastation caused by the war, any war, and the attack on human dignity that entails: the informants, the young ladies, children with hands outstretched, mass hallucinations are manifestations of what the human being finds himself becoming to ensure survival. And as always the black market and exploitation of people are in the desperation of others the best growth medium. But in Naples '44 there is no room for patetismi: the whole story, particularly thanks to the combination of skilful images chosen by Patierno the words of Lewis, is imbued with bitter irony and set of delicate tenderness for humanity in disarray, that even under the 'filthy crust of war' that had 'reported the Neapolitans in the Middle Ages' retains the will of resist. Could not run in thought to Aleppo of today, and not think about what war is always an intolerable abomination. Exceptional mounting Maria Valmori Fantastic, music by Andrea Guerra comments, and especially the iconographic research that unearths (is appropriate to say) an amount of unpublished material heartbreaking documentary power.

  • Nov 29, 2017
  • Documentary

Cast & Crew

  • Benedict Cumberbatch

    Benedict CumberbatchActor

    Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch was born and raised in London, England. His parents, Wanda Ventham and Timothy Carlton (born Timothy Carlton Congdon Cumberbatch), are both actors. He is a grandson of submarine commander Henry Carlton Cumberbatch, and a great-grandson of diplomat Henry Arnold Cumberbatch CMG. Cumberbatch attended Brambletye School and Harrow School. Whilst at Harrow, he had an arts scholarship and painted large oil canvases. It's also where he began acting. After he finished school, he took a year off to volunteer as an English teacher in a Tibetan monastery in Darjeeling, India. On his return, he studied drama at Manchester University. He continued his training as an actor at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art graduating with an M.A. in Classical Acting. By the time he had completed his studies, he already had an agent. Cumberbatch has worked in theatre, television, film and radio. His breakthrough on the big screen came in 2004 when he portrayed Stephen Hawking in the television movie Hawking (2004). In 2010, he became a household name as Sherlock Holmes on the British television series Sherlock (2010). In 2011, he appeared in two Oscar-nominated films - War Horse (2011) and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011). He followed this with acclaimed roles in the science fiction fiction film Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), the Oscar-winning drama 12 Years a Slave (2013), The Fifth Estate (2013) and August: Osage County (2013). In 2014, he portrayed Alan Turing in The Imitation Game (2014) which earned him a Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award, British Academy of Film and Television Arts and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Cumberbatch was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in the 2015 Birthday Honours for his services to the performing arts and to charity. Cumberbatch's engagement to theatre and opera director Sophie Hunter, whom he has known for 17 years, was announced in the "Forthcoming Marriages" section of The Times newspaper on November 5, 2014. On February 14, 2015, the couple married at the 12th century Church of St. Peter and St. Paul on the Isle of Wight followed by a reception at Mottistone Manor. They have two sons, Christopher Carlton (born 2015) and Hal Auden (born 2017).


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