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One of the great works of commedia all’italiana, Una vita difficile pairs one of the era’s great filmmakers with one of Italy’s most beloved stars.
Never before released in the US, Dino Risi’s dark comedy Una vita difficile introduces us to Italian partisan Silvio (played by the iconic Alberto Sordi). While Silvio is on the run from the Germans in Northern Italy during World War II, he is sheltered and romanced by Elena (Lea Massari), an innkeeper’s daughter. After the war, he brings her to Rome where he works at a struggling Communist newspaper. So begins an on-again, off-again relationship that unfolds over the course of 17 years of Italian history—the war’s aftermath, the switch from a monarchy to a republic, and the economic boom of the early 1960s—that finds Silvio, not wanting to compromise his ideals, unable to make an honest living. Often referred to as Italy’s Billy Wilder, Risi created two of the sparkling examples of the commedia all’italiana genre along with his later Il sorpasso (1962). (120 mins., 4K DCP)
IMAGE CAPTIONUna vita difficile, courtesy of Rialto Pictures/StudioCanal.
Scanned in 4K from the original negative by Istituto Luce, Rome. The restoration was carried out at VDM by StudioCanal.
SUPPORT FOR FILM/VIDEO PROGRAMS PROVIDED BYRohauer Collection Foundation
WEXNER CENTER PROGRAMS MADE POSSIBLE BYGreater Columbus Arts CouncilThe Wexner FamilyNational Endowment for the ArtsOhio Arts CouncilL Brands FoundationThe Columbus FoundationNationwide FoundationInstitute of Museum and Library ServicesVorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease
ADDITIONAL SUPPORT PROVIDED BYMike and Paige CraneAxium PackagingCampusParcJeni’s Splendid Ice CreamsPresident Kristina M. Johnson and Mrs. Veronica MeinhardNancy KramerLarry and Donna JamesLisa BartonJohanna DeStefanoJones DayAlex and Renée Shumate
Una vita difficile