Watch Le streghe
- 2 hr 1 min
In 1967, Italian director Luchino Visconti released a film titled Le streghe, which translates to English as The Witches. The movie is an anthology film composed of five distinct segments, each directed by a different filmmaker. The stories are not connected to each other, but they all explore the theme of femininity and its various manifestations.
The first segment, titled "La strega bruciata viva" (The Witch Burned Alive), is directed by Luchino Visconti himself. It stars Silvana Mangano as Gloria, an actress who is preparing to perform in a play directed by her ex-husband. During rehearsals, she is tormented by her memories of their past relationship and by her insecurities about her aging appearance. The segment is a commentary on the glamour and artificiality of the film industry and the pressures that actresses face to maintain their beauty.
The second segment, "Senso civico" (Civic Sense), is directed by Mauro Bolognini and stars Annie Girardot as a housewife who becomes obsessed with keeping her neighborhood clean and orderly. She goes to extreme lengths to enforce her vision of civic responsibility, even if it means isolating herself from her family and friends. The segment is a darkly comedic critique of conformity and the dangers of unchecked moralism.
The third segment, "La terra vista dalla luna" (The Earth as Seen from the Moon), is directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini and features a young man (Franco Citti) hitchhiking through the countryside and encountering various bizarre and surreal characters. He ultimately finds himself at a party hosted by a wealthy family, where he witnesses their decadence and corruption. Pasolini's segment is a scathing indictment of the Italian bourgeoisie and their disregard for the struggles of the working class.
The fourth segment, "La siciliana" (The Sicilian Belle), is directed by Franco Rossi and stars Vittorio Gassman as a businessman who becomes enamored of a beautiful Sicilian woman (Mangano). They begin a passionate affair, but their class and cultural differences prove to be insurmountable obstacles. Rossi's segment is a commentary on the tensions between traditional and modern values and the role of women in patriarchal societies.
The final segment, "Una serata come le altre" (An Evening Like Any Other), is directed by Visconti and stars Clint Eastwood as a famous American actor who visits Rome and has a chance encounter with a young woman (Mangano) who is struggling to support herself and her child. They spend the evening together, and their brief connection has a profound impact on both of them. Visconti's segment is a meditation on the transience of fame and the importance of human connection.
Overall, Le streghe is a visually stunning and thematically rich film that explores a wide range of topics related to gender, class, and society. The performances are uniformly excellent, particularly those of Mangano and Girardot, and the use of different directors and styles adds a fascinating diversity to the storytelling. While some segments may be more successful than others, the film as a whole is a captivating and thought-provoking piece of cinema.