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NAPLES ’44: Evocative Portrait of a Great City in Wartime

Based on the Norman Lewis Memoir, Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch;. Movie Has US Theatrical Premiere Wednesday, November 29 at Film Forum

“A bold project, uniting literature and the cinema.” – Huffington Post

“A riveting film, a complex portrait of the mystery of Naples” - Corriere della Sera

“Francesco Patierno’s filmmaking is truly complementary to and as worthy as Norman Lewis’s work of literature. Wounded, devastated, bombed and raped… a whole city seems to want to come out of the nightmare and shout out against war. Against all wars.” - Il Manifesto

“Magnificent. (An) elegant, moving, balanced war diary” - Il Foglio

Benedict Cumberbatch gives life to the words of British soldier Norman Lewis, whose remarkable memoir of post-World War II Naples form the basis for this haunting evocation of a ravaged land, and later a city of infinite charm. Lewis entered Naples as part of an invasion of Nazi-occupied Italy. His memories of a ravaged land and his return many years later are recalled with magnificent warmth and wit. Filmmaker Francesco Patierno combines riveting archival war footage with clips from movies set in Naples from the 1950s and 60s (featuring Marcello Mastroianni, Alan Arkin, Ernest Borgnine) to evoke a city that was as much a victim of the war as any individual, but that has come back to life with all the charisma of Vesuvius, its very own volcano.
- Karen Cooper, Film Forum

Oscar-nominated actor Benedict Cumberbatch gives life to the words of British officer Norman Lewis, whose remarkable memoir of post-World War II Naples (published in 1978) form the basis for this haunting evocation of a ravaged land, and later a city of infinite charm.  Lewis entered Naples as part of an invasion of Nazi-occupied Italy. His memories and his return many years later are recalled with magnificent warmth and wit.

Filmmaker Francesco Patierno combines riveting archival war footage with clips from movies set in Naples from the 1950s and 60s (featuring Marcello Mastroianni, Alan Arkin, Ernest Borgnine, and others) to evoke a city that was as much a victim of the war as any individual – but that has come back to life with all the dynamic charisma of Vesuvius, its very own volcano.

NAPLES ‘44 (2017, 85 mins.) Written and directed by Francesco Patierno. Based on the book Naples ’44: A World War II Diary of Occupied Italy by Norman Lewis. Produced by Davide Azzolini and Francesca Barra. Cinematography by Gianni Troilo. Edited by Maria Fantastica Valmori. Original soundtrack by Andrea Guerra.  Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch. Italy. In English and Italian with English subtitles. A First Run Features release.

NAPLES ’44 will have a two-week engagement, November 29 – December 12, at Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street, West of 6th Ave., with screenings daily at 12:30, 2:20, 4:15, 6:10, 8:00 & 9:50.

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