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Allied EncountersThe Gendered Redemption of World War II Italy$
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Marisa Escolar

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780823284504

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823284504.001.0001

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“Liberated” Rome beyond Redemption

“Liberated” Rome beyond Redemption

Roberto Rossellini’s Paisà and Alfred Hayes’s All Thy Conquests and The Girl on the Via Flaminia

Chapter:
(p.42) 2 “Liberated” Rome beyond Redemption
Source:
Allied Encounters
Author(s):

Marisa Escolar

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823284504.003.0003

This chapter analyzes the seminal Italian representation of the gendering of redemption in “Rome,” the third episode of Roberto Rossellini’s Paisà (1946). It reads “Rome” in terms of its relationship to the novels All Thy Conquests (1946) and The Girl on the Via Flaminia (1949), by Alfred Hayes, a Rossellini collaborator who wrote the “Rome” episode. All three texts express sympathy for the Italian woman turned prostitute, at once an individual who faces material consequences and an allegory for the nation. They position her fall at the start of a national trajectory that masculinizes redemption: for Rossellini, the northern partisans who fall to their deaths at the end of Paisà; for Hayes, the soldier tourist who returns to postwar Italy in search of pleasure. Furthermore, All Thy Conquests points to the strategic use of melodrama in “Rome.” Set during the trial of Pietro Caruso, a fascist involved in the massacre at the Fosse Ardeatine near Rome, All Thy Conquestsexplicitly represents what Rossellini eschews. By focusing on the conventional gendered redemption narrative, Rossellini is able to repress the traumatic events surrounding the trial, when a Roman mob lynches Donato Carretta, a witness for the prosecution, threatening Italy’s redemption in the eyes of the world.

Keywords:   Alfred Hayes, Fosse Ardeatine, melodrama, neorealism, Paisà, Pietro Caruso, redemption, Roberto Rossellini, Rome, World War II

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