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THE PASSION OF ANNA MAGNANI Documentary Premieres Sept. 15

Filmmaker Enrico Cerasuolo. recounts the life of Anna Magnani.

THE PASSION OF ANNA MAGNANI Documentary Premieres Sept. 15

Filmmaker Enrico Cerasuolo recounts the life of Anna Magnani, Italy's great screen legend, who embodied the bare-faced, post-war honesty of Italian neo-realism and became a symbol of the city of Rome itself.

With an indelible catalog of her must-see films and a well-chosen selection of historical interviews, the opinions of Marlon Brando, Luchino Visconti, Federico Fellini, Sophia Loren and Ingrid Bergman, offer different perspectives on Magnani's complex personality, her nonconformity, strength and courage.

Anna Magnani's blend of fiery passion, earthy humor, and unvarnished naturalism made her the symbol of postwar Italian cinema. Launched to worldwide superstardom through her indelible turn in Roberto Rossellini's Rome Open City, Anna running down a street and gunned down by Nazi's became the symbol of a new type of cinema that described the real world. As an actress she transforms the representation of women in cinema by embodying something different from the glamour of those which came before and after her.

Equally adept at drama and comedy, she could harness her explosive emotional intensity to move an audience to laughter, tears, or both at once.

The film highlights the actress's illustrious international career, including powerhouse performances for directors like Roberto Rossellini, Luchino Visconti (Bellissima), Pier Paolo Pasolini (Mamma Roma), Federico Fellini (L'amore and Roma), Sidney Lumet (The Fugitive Kind), George Cukor (Wild Is the Wind), William Dieterle (Volcano), Mario Monicelli (The Passionate Thief), and Jean Renoir (The Golden Coach).

Magnani was awarded an Academy Award in 1956 for The Rose Tattoo, a role Tennessee Williams wrote especially for her (the only Italian actress to win with an English-speaking film to this day). However Hollywood wasn't where she did her best work, as the industry tried in vain to pin a stereotype on her that didn't suit her fiery and volcanic personality.

Anna Magnani was an independent woman, a single mother, tied to the city of Rome and with a unique and unprecedented modernity before her time.

Watch Mangnani accept her Academy Award here:

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