Thursday, March 18, 2010

"The Earth Cries Out" To Be Shown

On Wednesday, March 31, 2010, the Begin Center will show the Italian film, with Hebrew subtitles, "The Earth Cries Out" at 5, 7 and 9 PM. Tickets at 20 NIS. Reservations: 02-5652020

The New York Times

Il Grido Della Terra (1949)

THE SCREEN IN REVIEW; ' Earth Cries Out,' an Italian Import Dealing With British-Jewish Strife in Palestine, at Ambassador
Published: August 31, 1949

Credit the Italian film-makers who produced "The Earth Cries Out," a realistic drama which opened at the Ambassador yesterday, with trying to scan the post-war conflict between the British and the Jews in Palestine with a sober and fair delineation of the principles and passions involved. And credit them further with capturing, in this crudely constructed little film, some brave and believable glimpses of the courage of peoples on both sides.

With arresting reality, they have pictured the hardships and the fortitude of Jews on their way to Palestine from Italy aboard a broken-down, blockade-running ship, the eagerness and the resolution of these immigrants to reach the perilous shore and their overwhelming rapture upon their safe arrival in a Jewish colony. Likewise, they have imaged, with documentary care, the appearance and behavior of British soldiers carrying out their orders to contain the Jews.

Indeed, they have viewed with compassion the irony and the tragedy of all caught up in this bitter struggle, with no more sympathy shown for the young Jewish "terrorist" who is captured and executed for a violent deed than for the brave British officer who is kidnapped and executed by the "terrorists" in return. The complex of human loyalties and tragic suffering in the Palestine strife is this picture's theme, and it is realized with a great deal more sincerity than in a recent Hollywood film on the same theme — the picture called "Sword in the Desert," which is now at the Criterion.

But, unfortunately, the structure and the dramatic performance of this film are clumsy and inconclusive, due primarily, it appears, to a weak script by Lewis F. Gittler and stiff direction by Duilio Coletti. There is considerable rambling and jumping in a plot which has to do with the ultimate triangular contention of three old wartime friends — one now a Haganah colonizer, one a "terrorist" and one a British officer. And a couple of incidental romances are loosely woven in.

Under such circumstances it is surprising that anything in the way of strong conviction can be delivered by the cast. But, in spite of the drama's insecurity, some stout individuals are portrayed by Andrea Checcki, Luigi Tossi, Carlo Ninchi, Marina Berti and Peter Trent. And the countless "bit" players and extras, many of them actual soldiers and emigrés, are wonderfully vivid and authentic. The integrity of the picture owes much to them.

English dialogue has been dubbed in so that the language is readily understood, with occasional poor synchronization of the lips only a mild annoyance.

THE EARTH CRIES OUT (Il Grido Della Terra), script by Lewis F. Gittler; directed by Duilio Coletti, produced in Italy by Albert Salvatori for Lux Films. At the Ambassador.

Arle . . . . . Andrea Checcki
Dina . . . . . Marina Berti
Judith . . . . . Vivi Gioi
Ship Captain . . . . . Carlo Ninchi
David . . . . . Luigi Tosi
Dr. Tannen . . . . . Filippo Scelzo
George Birkemore . . . . . Peter Trent
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