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Thursday, February 18, 2021

Le Mani Sulla Citta (aka Hands Across The City) (1963)

Set in Naples, a scheming land developer (Rod Steiger) buys city land and builds low income housing for profit. But when a disastrous building collapse occurs, an investigation into his possible responsibility is brought into the spotlight. Directed by Francesco Rosi (CHRIST STOPPED AT EBOLI), this examination of political corruption and collusion between land development and city politicians is extremely timely. Ignoring the crisis of their citizens living in near poverty in hovels, politicians volley for political power and vote for what is advantageous to their political party rather than what is beneficial to their constituents. How can they vote their conscience when they have no conscience? The film is almost 60 years old and it's dismaying how some things never change. Steiger's performance is problematic because he's dubbed into Italian. Steiger has a distinctive voice and it's disorienting when this totally different voice comes out of his mouth but it has the edge of making his performance less volatile. With Salvo Randone, Guido Alberti and Carlo Fermariello. 

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