Sunday in August

An early offshoot of neorealism, Sunday in August shows Italians, and the Italian cinema, slowly emerging from the despair of the postwar era. Shooting entirely on location, former documentary filmmaker Luciano Emmer beautifully and naturally evokes a dawn-to-dusk day at the beach, where Rome's poor flock by the thousands and the classes meet (and avoid) each other. A cast of professional and nonprofessional actors features Marcello Mastroianni in one of his very first films, as well as Franco Interlenghi from Shoeshine. Emmer so skillfully weaves his plot throughout the film that we are convinced that such romances and small treacheries must take place all summer long, among these very real, though fictional, people.

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