Italian silent screen goddess Francesca Bertini appears in her most famous role in Assunta Spina
, an operatic tale of love and sacrifice in turn of the century Naples.
After being assaulted by her jealous lover Michele (Gustavo Serena), Assunta (Bertini) becomes the mistress of a corrupt Don (Carlo Benetti) so she can visit Michele while he is in prison. When Michele is unexpectedly released, he discovers Assunta's "betrayal," setting the stage for the film's exquisitely tragic finale.
By carefully preserving the regional dialect and customs in his prose, poet and playwright Salvatore Di Giacomo captured the unique essence of Napolitanita: the ability of the Italian working class to maintain their dignity even as they struggle for their survival. In harmony with this approach, Assunta Spina was shot largely on location, capturing precious glimpses of life in the streets of Naples, and presaging the rise of Italian Neorealism.
Also featured on this DVD is Gianfranco Mingozzi's witty and fascinating documentary The Last Diva, in which 94-year-old Bertini recalls her life and career while attending a private screening of Assunta Spina. Filled with rare photographs and footage from Bertini's memorable films.
This double feature showcases legendary Italian actress Francesca Bertini in her most famous movie, ASSUNTA SPINA, and in a documentary about her life and career, THE LAST DIVA. ASSUNTA SPINA is the operatic tragedy in which Bertini stars as Assunta, a woman in the midst of a tempestuous relationship with a jealous man named Michele. When his abuse gets him thrown in jail, Assunta takes up with corrupt official so that she can continue to see him.
THE LAST DIVA finds the 94 year-old Bertini attending a screening of ASSUNTA SPINA and recalling her life and career. Featuring rare photographs and footage documenting Bertini's career, THE LAST DIVA is an incredible look at one of cinema's first true stars.