Odessa in Flames

Odessa in Flames (Italian: Odessa in fiamme, Romanian: Odessa în flăcări) is a 1942 Italian-Romanian war film directed by Carmine Galloneand starring Maria Cebotari, Carlo Ninchi and Filippo Scelzo.[1] The film is about the Battle of Odessa in 1941, where the city was taken in an operation was primarily conducted by Romanian forces and elements of the German Army's 11th Army.

Odessa in Flames
Directed byCarmine Gallone
Written byNicolae Kiritescu
Gherardo Gherardi
StarringMaria Cebotari
Carlo Ninchi
Filippo Scelzo
Olga Solbelli
Music byPietro Sassoli
Ion Vasilescu
CinematographyAnchise Brizzi
Edited byNiccolò Lazzari
Production
company
Grandi Film
Oficiul National Cinematografiei
Distributed byICI
Release date
14 September 1942
Running time
83 minutes
CountryItaly
Romania
LanguageItalian

It is an anti-communist propaganda work focusing on a family trapped in Soviet-occupied Bessarabia and its eventual liberation by Axis forces during Operation Barbarossa.[2] It was screened at the 1942 Venice Film Festival.[3]

It was made at the Cinecittà Studios in Rome. The sets were designed by the art director Guido Fiorini. Location shooting took place in Axis-occupied Odessa and Moldova as well as Romania.

Plot

Maria Cebotari played the role of Maria Teodorescu, an opera singer from Bessarabia, who is in Chisinau with her 8-year-old son at the time of the invasion. The boy is taken somewhere in Odessa. The mother is told that he will be maintained in a camp where he will be educated as a man and a Soviet. To get her son back she agrees to sing Russian songs in theaters and taverns. There, she shares pictures of her past. One such image is found by chance by her husband, who is in the Romanian army with the rank of captain. In the end, the family reunites.

Because of the invasion of Bucharest by Soviet troops in 1944 the movie was banned and the actors were arrested. Many such movies were either destroyed or censored. Nothing was heard of this movie for more than 50 years. However, it was rediscovered in the Cinecittà archives in Rome and was shown for the first time in Romania in December 2006.

Cast

References

  1. (in Romanian) Odessa in flacari at Telecinemateca.com
  2. Laffan & Weiss p.128
  3. Reich & Garofalo p.298

Bibliography

  • Michael Laffan & Max Weiss. Facing Fear: The History of an Emotion in Global Perspective. Princeton University Press, 2012.
  • Reich, Jacqueline & Garofalo, Piero. Re-viewing Fascism: Italian Cinema, 1922-1943. Indiana University Press, 2002.
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