La Strada

"La Strada was bitterly attacked by left-wing critics in Italy as a perversion and betrayal of neorealism....(But) Fellini seems most concerned with an analysis of the feminine condition represented by the 'woman as object,' as passive as a pebble, created for no other purpose than to make love and food. Gelsomina (Giulietta Masina)'s search for her own sense of identity is central to the film. Fellini told me he knew he had achieved his aim when he received a letter from a woman who said, in substance: 'My husband treats me like a Gelsomina. We went together to see La Strada and he cried and asked my forgiveness.' Fellini's ending has been discussed at great length but this letter would seem to prove that the important aspect of it is Zampano (Anthony Quinn)'s tears....La Strada profoundly moved the majority of women and exasperated many men. Far from betraying neorealism, Fellini enriched it by guiding it along a new path." -Georges Sadoul, Dictionary of Films

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