Thursday, May 18, 2017
Europa '51 (Rossellini, 1952) Rating: 10/10 stars.
Perhaps the least praised of the Rossellini/Bergman trilogy, no doubt because it seems the most melodramatic and least modern, I found it by far the most moving. True, the final act is forced in the way it seems to leave plausibility behind as society punishes Bergman's transgressions, but in another sense it is just as inexplicable as the endings of the other two films, though here tragic rather than eucatastrophic. Grace can come to an individual, but not to society as a whole. And if Bergman's character is inspired by St. Francis, she is a a Francis with no followers and no freedom--the film is an investigation of what someone would have to go through to truly view the world the way Francis did, and it turns out to be incredibly painful, unnatural, and perhaps unsustainable. Yet the challenge remains.