New films on CB: Salvatore Giuliano (1961 – Francesco Rosi) and The Life of Emile Zola (1937 – William Dieterle) – SEE FILMS

The Life of Emile Zola is a remarkable and powerful biopic of the life of French activist author Emile Zola (played by Paul Muni, supported by Joseph Schildkraut as Captain Alfred Dreyfus). Released in 1937 when anti-Semitism was again sweeping Europe, the word ‘Jew’ is never mentioned. To avoid lawsuits from their descendants, only the names of Major Dort and Major Esterhazy were specifically identified. Others are referred to as the Chief of Staff, the Minister of War, etc. Dreyfus himself was not freed and restored to rank until 1906 (four years after Zola’s death/murder in 1902) after again being found guilty in an 1899 retrial. A particularly interesting film to watch in light of the current proceedings against Julian Assange.

Salvatore Giuliano — On July 5, 1950 the bullet-ridden corpse of twenty-seven-year-old Sicilian bandit Salvatore Giuliano was found facedown in a courtyard in Castelvetrano, a handgun and rifle by his side. Director Francesco Rosi harnessed the facts and myths surrounding the true story of the bandit’s death, using native Sicilians and actual locations, to create a startling exposé of Sicily and the tangled relations between its citizens, the Mafia, and government officials. A groundbreaking work of political filmmaking, Salvatore Giuliano established Rosi’s reputation and assured his place in cinema history. (PS We are currently searching for a version with English-language subtitles)

See also FILMS: Johnny Cool