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HANDS ON THE CITY

Italy, 1963 (MIFF 1964)

Director: Francesco Rosi

Francesco Rosi first received critical attention for his La Sftda then I Magluui, and two years ago, for the outstanding study of the Sicilian bandit Sahatoie Ciuhano. His new film, Hands On The City tackles another aspect of corruption: corruption in local Government.

In the Naples of today a building operator and his colleagues on the City Council, decide to exploit a piece of land in a remote suburban area which they have cheaply acquired. In spite of accidents, in which lives are lost in spite of a complete expose of their political manoeuvrings by the Communists, they are still able to make alliances at the elections which enable them to proceed with their plans at the expense of the public purse and safety.

Rosi's film is almost documentary in its analysis ot how corruption spreads, and he relentlessly pursues his ob­jectives. He deliberately concentrates on his characters' political functioning to the exclusion of their private life. Rod Steiger gives a powerful performance as the real estate czar, and Salvo Randone is also excellent as his corrupted right-wing councillor. The fact that the role of the Communist, who is the moving force behind the expose of corrupt practices, is played by an actual Communist City Councillor of Naples, adds further piquancy to the picture. The film has created a political furore throughout Italy because of its implied criticism of official laissez faire in factual dealings of a similar nature.

See also...

WILFUL MURDER

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The year is 1949, a mere four years after Japan's defeat in World War 2. The nation was under the boot of the American occupation, and the U.S. was determined to make Japan a stronghold against the t… More »

THE MATTEI AFFAIR

Italy, 1972
Enrico Mattei, an Italian oil tycoon, emerged after the Second World War, as one of the most powerful figures in his country. His influence, often an alienating one, reached into China, Russia, Franc… More »

THE CONTEXT

Italy, 1976
Francesco Rosi takes up a theme already mined by Elio Petri: political intrigue among officials who plot assassinations and ruthlessly suppress dissent in Italy. An inspector is given the job of inve… More »

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