Previously at the ICA - Films

Hands Over the City, dir. Francesco Rosi, 1963

Hands Over the City

29 Jul 20173 Sep 2017

Francesco Rosi’s Hands Over the City is one of the finest political dramas ever made – a ferocious exploration of civic corruption in postwar Naples. Winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1963, the film’s compelling dissection of inequity within housing conditions and the collusion of government authorities with housing developers, is as urgent today as it was over 50 years ago.

Beginning with the collapse of an apartment building in a working-class district, the film zeroes in on the subsequent investigation of responsibility surrounding the disaster. At the centre is Eduardo Nottola, played by Rod Steiger, a wealthy land developer and council member of the government’s ruling party. Nottola is determined to keep his personal and professional interests in the building of new government housing as intertwined as possible.

With visually striking social realism, Rosi meticulously unpicks the tangled threads of interconnected favours and unscrupulous culture of self-reward within the halls of governmental power.

Hands Over the City, dir. Francesco Rosi, Italy 1963, 101 mins

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