Nights of Cabiria
A happy, laughing Cabiria, a prostitute, is standing by a river bank with her live-in boyfriend Giorgio when he snatches her purse filled with money and pushes her into the river. Cabiria can’t swim bur fortunately she is rescued by neighborhood boys. Cabiria returns home and realizes Giorgio and her cash are gone. A bitter Cabiria meets Alberto Lazzari, a movie star, outside a nightclub after he his jilted by his girlfriend. Lazzari takes Cabiria to his apartment. Cabiria now has a fantasy of marrying Lazzari, having a family, and living a normal life. But, alas, Lazzari’s girlfriend returns and Lazzari quickly dumps Cabiria. Cabiria attends a magic show where she is called on the stage and hypnotized. Cabiria acts out her dream of being married and living a normal life while the audience howls in amusement. A humiliated Cabiria leaves the theater in a huff where she meets a man named Oscar, who was in the audience. He consoles Cabiria. They go for a drink and after a few meetings they plan to get married. Cabiria sells her home, withdraws her money from the bank, and offers it to Oscar as a dowry. While walking with Oscar along the side of a cliff, Oscar becomes nervous and distant. Cabiria fears that Oscar will do what Giorgio did: steal her money and throw her off the cliff. A sobbing Cabiria throws the money at Oscar’s feet. He takes it and abandons her. Cabiria walks back home when she encounters a group of young people playing music and dancing. Cabiria is charmed and she begins to smile through her tears.
Why Stream This Film?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 97%
- Academy Awards: Winner, Best Foreign Language Film
- Cannes Film Festival: Winner, Best Actress (Giulietta Masina)
- San Sebastian International Film Festival: Winner, Best Actress (Giulietta Masina)
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As artificial as Cabiria’s behavior sometimes seems, it always seems her own, and this little woman carries herself proudly through the gutters of Rome.
A cinematic masterpiece. A deep, wrenching and eloquent filmgoing experience.
Through Masina’s unforgettable performance, Cabiria will endure as long as anyone cares to watch transcendence projected on a screen.
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