Giuseppe De Santis and Postwar Italian Cinema


220 pages
Contains Photos, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-8020-7141-4
DDC 791.43'0233'092




M. Wayne Cunningham is the director, Academic and Career Programs at the
College of the Rockies/East Kootenay Community College in British


Giuseppe De Santis was an Italian filmmaker whose best-known film,
Bitter Rice, was followed by several films of mixed critical and popular
success and then several years of silence. Combining scholarly research
with previously unknown biographical information, this book sets out to
examine the “critical double standard” that has resulted in the
exclusion of De Santis’s films from the “traditional canon in
academic teaching about cinema.”

Ten of the chapters analyze individual films created by De Santis. Each
chapter addresses, with varying degrees of emphasis, four themes: De
Santis’s definition of neorealism and how it is reflected in each
film; his portrayal of women as shaped by his background and upbringing;
his cinematic style; and his artistic integrity in the face of pressure
to conform to the political ideologies of the day. Another chapter
explores the reasons for De Santis’s long hiatus from filmmaking and
his reputation for being uncompromising and uncooperative.

Vitti’s book, which includes a detailed filmography, notes, a
bibliography, and 32 pages of photographs, goes a long way toward giving
De Santis a place in the history of Italian cinema.


Vitti, Antonio., “Giuseppe De Santis and Postwar Italian Cinema,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 14, 2024,