Italian classic to be screened in memory of Clive

Rome Open City 1945
Rome Open City 1945

As originally planned the 2017/18 season of the Eastbourne Film Society was meant to end last Wednesday, but that is no longer the case.

This is due to a legacy from the late Clive Wilkes who for many years would regularly attend screenings by the Society with his wife Pam who predeceased him. Clive had a life-long interest in cinema and music and loved both. This resulted in his being the treasurer of the Eastbourne Film Society for almost forty years and to a long involvement with the Eastbourne Recorded Music Society of which he was President at the time of his death last year.

The Eastbourne Film Society felt that his legacy could best be applied by setting up a special screening in Clive’s memory in the form of a film that had meant a great deal to him. The fact that Clive served in Italy as a young man just after the Second World War gave him a particular interest in films from that country and that explains the choice of film which will be shown next Wednesday March 14 at the Curzon Cinema with seats available for the public at all three performances.

Roberto Rossellini made Rome, Open City in 1945 and it is of obvious historical interest since it is a drama which, set just two years earlier, authentically captures life in Rome during the German occupation. Because it portrays Italy during the Second World War, Rome Open City qualifies as a war film, but it is a most unusual one since it contains not a single battle scene. Uniquely, it is a tribute to the courage of those Italians who led the resistance and refused to succumb to the pressure to become collaborators. In order to show this the film portrays a variety of characters: they range from a Catholic priest committed to helping the men of the Resistance to a widow seeking a future for herself and her young son, memorably played by that great Italian actress Anna Magnani.