Biography of Giuseppe de Santis (1917-1997)

Director and screenwriter of Italian cinema, born in Fondi (Italy) on February 11, 1917 and died at Rome on May 17, 1997.


In addition to studying law, philosophy and letters, was one of the students from the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia. On the side of Guido Aristarco, Michelangelo Antonioni and others, De Santis was initiated in the criticism at the magazine Cinema, directed by Vittorio Mussolini, son of Il Duce, publication and from which new ideas were proposed to renew the Italian cinema. From its pages, De Santis was able to criticize and praise films of Genina or Soldati, Castella, Lattuada, then young opening step in the Italian cinema following the guidelines in the preceding film. With special emphasis on social issues - also Visconti could appreciate this critical influence - in their Ossessione movie, in which collaborated with other contributors to the magazine in the argument, guarantee that encouraged them to pressure the director on the results of its work.

In the birth of neorealism, De Santis also helped directly the work of Rossellini, while it began as a director and editor in Giorni di gloria (1944). From there, his creative stance was based on a Socialist idea that Soviet references, not served to lend credibility to his first project, Caccia tragica. The social concern--poor workers who come together against the exploiters - remains in their second album, bitter rice, film which is spoken especially by the catchment which is made of the lush beauty of Silvana Mangano on the paddy field, leaving a little disfigured his neo-realist depiction of the collective work, rigour and the harshness of the exploitation of women.

This social effort that picked up in his films - belonged to the party communist-, demonstrates the seriousness that kept her personal and creative, line position which had repercussions on his career, addressing diverse films which, in its thematic approach dilutes the inner strength that De Santis pretended to give their stories of socially disadvantaged characters: farmers without resources andespecially the variety that it has offered women - issue that joined Carlo Lizzani, one of his closest aides.

The difficulties to make this cinema that emerged with the sixties, led him away almost from the cinema, separation only interrupted by some co-productions in which insisted in its social themes, but out of place for that time to fail in the adaptation.


1947: Caccia tragica. 1949: Bitter rice. 1950: Non c'e pace tra gli ulivi. 1952: Rome ore 11. 1953: A marito per Anna Zaccheo. 1954: Days of love. 1956: Men and wolves. 1958: Cesta duga godinu damage (La lunga strada an anno). 1960: The garconiere. 1964: Italiani brava gente.1972: A designer professionista di securo avvenire.


BRUNETTA, Gian P.: History of the Italian cinema: Dal miracolo economico (1945-1959) to neorealism. Rome. Editori Reuniti.1982.

FARRASINO, Alberto: "Italy: neorealism and the others", in General history of cinema. Madrid. Chair. 1996 vol. IX.

LEPROHOM, Pierre: The Italian cinema. Mexico. Editions was. 1971.