106 minutes, Italy
Optional: As part of our Summer Film School,
participate in Steven Jacobs’ 90-minute lecture on the film, at LantarenVenster.
Stromboli is an overwhelming representation of the existential crisis of a woman, set against the beautiful, surreal background of a volcanic isle.
Karin (Ingrid Bergman), a Lithuanian prisoner, has been detained in an Italian refugee camp since World War II. To escape from camp life, Karin has two options: emigrate to Argentina or marry Antonio and become an Italian citizen. Karin opts for the latter, and together they take off to his homeland, the fishers island of Stromboli in Sicily. Life on Stromboli is different than she expected. Despite her efforts to be accepted by the stubborn, conservative islanders, she is unable to adapt. The enormous cultural differences tear her apart and she soon realizes that she escaped a prison only to be stuck in another one.
Stromboli is seen as one of the essential films of Italian neorealism. Specific to this film style is the post-war setting, the use of non-actors in the role of islanders, the portrayal of fishing in a more documentary-like approach and the use of real events such as the evacuation of the village after an eruption of the volcano.
The recordings of Stromboli not only mark the beginning of the numerous collaborations between Rossellini and Bergman, but also the start of their scandalous affair. Due to this they were thwarted for years, especially in the USA. In 1950 the couple got married, and in 1958 they divorced.