Neo-Realism vs. Symbolic Realism.docx

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Boston College
Film Studies
FILM 2202
Anna Blake

Audra Hampsch Fr. Blake Final Exam Questions 5. At first glance, Italian neo-realism and symbolic realism may appear to merely have minute differences. The two classifications, however, are divergent amidst their overlaps. Neo- realism films are characterized by real portrayals of the sociological and economic dispositions of the poor, with the use of non-professional actors. Usually they contain a documentary feel, as shown through grainy, black and white images. They initially arose after World War II, when Italy began to experience social, economic, political, and moral change due to the “Italian Spring,” after the death of Mussolini and liberation from the German occupation. Films like Open City (Rossellini, 1946) are exemplary of neo-realism because they portray the reality of the German occupation during World War II. The Bicycle Thief (Vittorio de Sica, 1948), too, captures the reality of an insignificant event as a tragedy for an impoverished, Italian family. Symbolic realism, on the other hand, is charac
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