Rossi, Francesco: Late Italian Director Honored at 2015 Berlin Film Fest

The 2015 Berlin Film Fest will pay tribute to the achievements of Italian director FRancesco Ross, who died Saturday, Jan 10, at the age of 92.

The festival will screen “Uomini Contro” (Many Wars Ago, 1970). Rosi’s anti-war drama takes place on the mountainous Austrian-Italian front during World War I.

“The loss of Francesco Rosi is the loss of an outstanding filmmaker. With their explosive power, Rosi’s films are still persuasive today. His works are classics of politically engaged cinema,” commented Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick.

The Berlinale dedicated its 2008 Homage to Rosi, showing 13 of his films and bestowing on  him the Honorary Golden Bear for his life achievements.

In his works, Rosi reflected critically on political, economic and intellectual developments in Italy, often triggering intense public reactions, the festival said in a statement.

Rosi first found his own personal style and established himself internationally with “Salvatore Giuliano” (1961/62). The film won the Silver Bear for best director at the Berlinale in 1962.

In “Salvatore Giuliano, Il caso Mattei” (The Mattei Affair, 1971), which won the Palme d’Or in Cannes, and “Lucky Luciano” (1972), Rosi explored how economic and political power structures were intertwined with the Mafia. He exposed hushed-up building scandals in his hometown of Naples in “Le mani sulla città” (Hands Over the City, 1963), which won the Golden Lion in Venice.

In the late 1970s, Rosi broke new ground, both aesthetically and thematically. In “Cristo si è fermato a Eboli” (Christ Stopped at Eboli, 1978) and “Tre fratelli” (Three Brothers, 1980), Rosi turned his attention to the inner lives of his characters.