Rocco and His Brothers
Drama | In Italian with English subtitles | 135 minutes
The Parondi family consists of the matriarch Rosaria and her five sons. They move from the poor rural village of Lucania to the bustling city of Milan. The film weaves the story of the five brothers as each struggles to survive in the city. Vincenzo, the oldest, marries Ginetta, a Milanese woman, as he distances himself from the other brothers; Simone, the second oldest, is attracted to Nadia, a prostitute, who encourages him to become a boxer; Rocco, the third brother meets Nadia in Turin after he’s discharged from military service. He’s smitten with Nadia and convinces her to change her lifestyle. When Simone hears of this, he is enraged. He and his friends rape Nadia. Seeing this, Rocco convinces Nadia to return to Simone; Ciro, the second youngest brother, decides to learn from the mistakes of his older brothers and marries a local woman from a good family; Luca, the youngest brother, passively watches his brothers. The more he sees the more he wants to move back to the simpler life in rural Lucania. Is it possible to transport a family from a rural and poor village to a life in a big, cosmopolitan metropolis? That’s the crux of this remarkable film.
Why Stream This Film?
Is it survival of the fittest or just plain luck? Rocco is about how five brothers can end up differently when the family moves from rural Italy to Milan. The film brilliantly depicts heartfelt feelings as the brothers cope in the uncharted world of a big and hustling city.
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 89%
- Metacritic Score: 84%
- Golden Globe Awards: Winner, Best Director (Luchino Visconti)
- BAFTA Awards: Nominated, Best Film; Best Foreign Actress (Annie Girardot)
- Venice International Film Festival: Nominated, Golden Lion
- The film received 4 1/2 stars (out of five) in Leonard Maltin’s MOVIE GUIDE
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The experience of watching ROCCO and his BROTHERS is rather overwhelming. So much happens, at such intensity and complexity, with such an outpouring of emotion, that we do feel we’re witnessing opera.
There is a strong and surging drama in an Italian peasant family’s shattering life in an unfamiliar modern city. It’s the kind of emotional fullness and revelation one finds in the great Greek tragedies.
ROCCO and his BROTHERS is a film both authentic and ambitious, a classic that is as adept at telling individual stories as it is in drawing larger parallels from them.
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