Stromboli, Land of God 1950
100 mins Italy Director. Roberto Rossellini
Karen (Ingrid Bergman), a young Lithuanian woman who, eager to escape from a refugee camp, marries Antonio (Mario Vitale), a simple Italian fisherman, after he promises a great life on his home island of Stromboli. Karen soon discovers the island is harsh and unforgiving, with the locals acting in a hostile manner towards this strange, foreign woman. Her despondency increasing, Karen starts looking for ways to escape the desolation of this new life.
This first collaboration between Roberto Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman is famously the result of a fan letter that Bergman wrote, in which she spoke of her admiration for Rossellini’s work and her desire to make a film with him.
Shot on location with many non-professional actors, in depicting the minutiae of island life for this small fishing community Rossellini displays his trademark neo-realism whilst also poetically exploring the inner workings of Karen’s despair to devastating affect.