The Kingdom of Naples | Chicago Reader

The Kingdom of Naples

130 minutes 2012

Clearly influenced by the epic theater of Bertolt Brecht, this 1978 feature by Werner Schroeter proceeds as a series of discrete vignettes taking place in a poor Naples neighborhood between 1943 and 1972. A voice-over narrator introduces each by reporting what was happening in world politics at the time, while the episodes themselves—which vary in tone from naturalistic to melodramatic—tend to focus on domestic affairs. Schroeter refuses to reconcile the conflicting forces of family and politics, local tradition and national development; in Brechtian fashion he leaves that to the viewer, challenging him to reshape his views of Italian history in the process. In Italian with subtitles.

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