C

ahiers du cinéma critic Serge Daney asks whether The Kingdom of Naples is "leftist fiction, kitschy melodrama, photo-roman, a decadent chronicle of a city, opera in a minor key, or simply the first realistic narrative film by Schroeter?" It is all of these and more: an epic chronicle of proletarian family life in Naples from 1943 to 1972 that brilliantly captures the wretched poverty, overwrought passions, and political, religious and economic upheavals of Sicily across two generations. Schroeter assimilates neorealist aesthetics and class sympathies with the tempestuous excesses of popular melodrama, borrowing freely from Rossellini, Pasolini, Visconti, Brecht, and Rossini. (Facets)

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