"Bitter Rice, neither Neorealism nor Noir"
by Brian Berry
Class: Spring 2021 FILM 487 Transnational Film Noir (Instructor: Mark Berrettini)
Bio: Brian Berry is a graduating senior in the PSU School of Film. His research interest is the intersection of Italian communism and post-war Italian culture. He hopes to research this area further in graduate school. He also likes capybaras, F1, and Dua Lipa.
Statement: Through textual and historical analysis, this paper discusses Giuseppe De Santis' 1949 film Bitter Rice in order to explain its filmic contradictions, and place it in between debates about the borders of noir and neorealism. I argue that the combination of neorealism and noir that defines the film is a consequence of the immediate conditions of post-war Italy when the residual power of the Italian resistance meant that the hope of left-wing governance was still alive.