Ayn Rand's We the Living (1986) [ReUp]

Posted By: Someonelse
Ayn Rand's We the Living (1986) [ReUp]

We the Living (1986)
DVD9 + DVD5 | VIDEO_TS | NTSC 4:3 | 02:55:05 | 7,52 Gb + 3,88 Gb
Audio: Italian AC3 2.0 @ 192 Kbps | Subtitles: English hardcoded
Genre: Drama, Romance

Director: Goffredo Alessandrini

The time is the Russian Revolution. The place is a country burdened with fear - the midnight knock at the door, the bread hidden against famine, the haunted eyes of the fleeing, the grublike fat of the appeasers and oppressors. In a bitter struggle of the individual against the collective, three people stand forth with the mark of the unconquered in their bearing: Kira, who wants to be a builder, and the two men who love her - Leo, an aristocrat, and Andrei, a Communist. In their tensely dramatic story, Ayn Rand shows what the theories of Communism mean in practice. We the Living is not a story of politics but of the men and women who have to struggle for existence behind the Red banners and slogans. It is a picture of what dictatorship - of any kind - does to human beings, what kind of men are able to survive, and which of them remain as the ultimate winners. What happens to the defiant ones…

IMDB: "We the Living" originally released in 1942 as two films: "Noi vivi (1942)" and "Addio Kira! (1942)" | Wikipedia

An amazing piece of cinema. I loved every minute of it…Alida Valli has the same kind of quality on-screen as Garbo-just magical-what a performance! I think you will also fall under the spell of this film. –Michael Medved/Sneak Previews

(An) ambitious and ingenious film. –Caryn James/New York Times

Nothing stirs the soul quite so much as buried treasure. WE THE LIVING qualifies in every respect as film treasure…dazzling performances…Director Alessandrini brilliantly blends glamour, romance, politics, intrigue and danger..this is a film that avoids the predictable every step of the way…one of the best movies of the year. –Mike McGrady/New York Newsday
Goffredo Alessandrini's unauthorized 1942 version of Ayn Rand's novel "We the Living" appeared in Fascist Italy in two separate parts: NOI VIVI and ADDIO, KIRA. They are essentially one film. It was the grim story of post-revolutionary Russia, the forced collectivization of the economy and the brutal suppression of human rights, all told from the viewpoint of one woman, Kira. Ayn Rand's novel was autobiographical and was essentially a diatribe against the loss of individuality in totalitarian societies.

Ayn Rand's We the Living (1986) [ReUp]

The film attracted a sizable audience in Italy. The Fascist government saw the film(s) as a condemnation of Soviet misery but when it became aware that the movie(s) implied a condemnation of all totalitarian states, left and right, it withdrew them from distribution.

Ayn Rand's We the Living (1986) [ReUp]

They were not seen again and were thought lost until the early 1960s when Ayn Rand's attorneys located prints in Rome. Ayn Rand liked the movie(s) a great deal, while having reservations about certain liberties that had been taken with dialog and situations. She died in 1982 and did not live to see the re-issue of the film, which was brought about under the auspices of the Ayn Rand estate. The original two-part 4-hour version was edited down to a 170-minute one-film version. One major speech (of Fosco Giachetti) was redubbed to assert Randian philosophy, and the ending (with the death of Kira in the snow as she is shot trying to escape from Russian) was eliminated, rendering the film more optimistic.

Ayn Rand's We the Living (1986) [ReUp]

We are glad that the film was made available in some form after having been lost for decades. After all, how many films from Fascist Italy get picked up for commercial distribution in America these days? But we also regret that Alessandrini's complete artistic achievement was truncated and tampered with. Wasn't creative integrity the theme of Rand's novel "The Fountainhead"?

Having had the good fortune of seeing the uncut integral two films on video in Italy, I can vouch for them as being more satisfying, less disjointed in that format. Let's be clear. This new version is NOT a "restoration" as some are calling it. It is, rather, an "adaptation." We are ambivalent about it but pleased to have it. And the 35mm print material is first rate.

Ayn Rand's We the Living (1986) [ReUp]

As much as anything else, WE THE LIVING is a whopping good love story, of "Camille"-like intensity and "Anna Karenina"-like grandeur. The stunning Alida Valli as Kira and Rossano Brazzi as her wastrel lover Leo, devour the screen in their scenes together. Fosco Giachetti as Andrei, head of the secret police and willing to sacrifice honor and ideals for Kira, is poignant and unforgettable. As is this film, or as are these films.
IMDB Reviewer
Ayn Rand's We the Living (1986) [ReUp]

"We the Living," Geoffredo Alessandrini's 1942 adaptation of Ayn Rand's novel about postrevolutionary Russia, is a mixture of robust naturalism and operatic romance. Banned by the Fascists for its antitotalitarian message and believed lost until its rejuvenation last year, the picture features a sort of Hollywood-style neorealism. It's a love story set against a historical backdrop – a die-hard formula – but Alessandrini, who worked for MGM in the '30s, keeps the elements in balance. Still, its characters make speeches and posture outrageously – they make spectacles of their passion.

Ayn Rand's We the Living (1986) [ReUp]

The movie stars Alida Valli as Kiri, a student with vast dreams of raising skyscrapers and constructing huge, shining bridges, and Rossano Brazzi as Leo, a counterrevolutionary running from the secret police. Their first meeting is a case of mistaken identity, and the scene is frank even by contemporary standards. Wandering the streets at night, Kiri is taken for a prostitute by Leo, who leads her away to an abandoned park. "Who are you?" Leo keeps asking, as if reciting the cue for her big aria. As they talk, a layer of gummy artificial snow coats their boots.

Ayn Rand's We the Living (1986) [ReUp]

Wonderfully overwrought and nearly three hours long, "We the Living" moves from one melodramatic peak to another. Frustrated by life in what Leo calls "a prison covered over with snow and stained with blood," the lovers attempt to escape, are captured by a sympathetic member of the secret police and are eventually released. Unable to get a decent job, Leo contracts tuberculosis, and to get money for a sanitarium, Kiri becomes the lover of a party official (Fosco Giachetti), setting up a triangle that collapses on all three.

Ayn Rand's We the Living (1986) [ReUp]

There's a sizable dose of Verdi in the movie's Bolshevism. When rival factions at the university wage war, they do so in song, one group outsinging the other. And it's a riot to hear these brooding Soviets bantering in Italian.

The anticommunists are pretty sensational too. In her love scenes, Alida Valli is like an Italian Debra Winger; there's heat in her soulfulness. And at least in the first half of the film, Brazzi, who dresses in a black turtleneck like a Florentine art student, is her passionate equal.

Ayn Rand's We the Living (1986) [ReUp]

About two hours into the film, the plotting becomes muddled and we have to struggle to follow the characters' motives. Toward the end, the speeches seem to lengthen as well, especially the ones in which Rand uses her characters as a mouthpiece for her violent anticommunism. (Rand, who was born in Russia, emigrated in 1924.) You won't find many films around today with characters as full-blooded as this. It's pure hokum and a pure delight.
Ayn Rand's We the Living (1986) [ReUp]

Special Features (on Disc 2):
- Exclusive Video "We The Living, A Lost Treasure" (25 mins)
- Deleted Scenes with Commentary (45 mins)
- The Original Ending and Why Ayn Rand Change it
All Credits goes to Original uploader.

No More Mirrors, Please.

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