Francesco Rosi

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Francesco Rosi
Francesco Rosi Cannes.jpg
Born (1922-11-15) 15 November 1922 (age 92)
Naples, Italy
Occupation Director, Producer

Francesco Rosi (born 15 November 1922) is an Italian film director. He is the father of actress Carolina Rosi. His film The Mattei Affair won the Palme d'Or at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival.


After studying Law, but hoping to study film, Rosi entered the industry as an assistant to Luchino Visconti on La Terra trema (1948). His emergence as a director is considered to be his 1958 film La sfida (The Challenge, 1958), based on the story of Camorra boss Pasquale Simonetti, known as Pasquale 'e Nola, and Pupetta Maresca.[1] The realist nature of this film also caused a stir alluding to mafia control of the government.

Rosi was one of the central figures of the politicised post-neorealist 1960s and 1970s of Italian cinema, along with Gillo Pontecorvo, Pier Paolo Pasolini, the Taviani brothers, Ettore Scola and Valerio Zurlini. Dealing with a corrupt postwar Italy, Rosi's movies take on controversial issues, such as Salvatore Giuliano, a film that won the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 12th Berlin International Film Festival in 1962.[2]

In 1970 he made the importaint description of the madness of First World War in Many Wars Ago. The years 1972 to 1976 cemented Rosi's reputation internationally as a director who dealt with controversial subjects such as the mysterious death of oil magnate Enrico Mattei (The Mattei Affair, 1972, which won the Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival); the political machinations around gangster Lucky Luciano (Lucky Luciano, 1974), and corruption in the judiciary, Cadaveri Eccellenti (Illustrious Corpses, 1976).[3] His 1979 film Christ Stopped at Eboli won the Golden Prize at the 11th Moscow International Film Festival.[4]

Rosi's films always appear to have political messages, especially his work from the 1960s and 1970s. As he matured as a director his topics for films became less politically oriented and more angled toward literature. Despite the more traditional slant of his later work, Rosi continued to direct until 1997. The 58th edition of the Berlin International Film Festival in 2008 played tribute to Francesco Rosi by screening 13 films in its Homage section, the latter being reserved to filmmakers of outstanding quality and achievement. He received the Honorary Golden Bear for Lifetime Achievement on 14 February 2008, accompanied by the screening of Salvatore Giuliano.

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ Una Donna, la Camorra e Napoli. Reccontati dal cinema e dalla stampa, dissertation, July 2007
  2. ^ "Berlinale: Prize Winners". Retrieved 2010-02-12. 
  3. ^ John Patterson "Made in Italy", The Guardian, 14 February 2009
  4. ^ "11th Moscow International Film Festival (1979)". MIFF. Retrieved 2013-01-19. 

External links[edit]