Written by Ruth at Silver Screenings
The 1960 Italian film Two Women (La ciociara) is a tough watch.
It doesn’t start out that way. Like other terrible things in life, events begin as an undesirable yet manageable problem, only to unfurl into a nightmare.
The film takes place in 1943 Italy as allied planes bomb Rome. When the shelling becomes too much for shop owner Sophia Loren, she flees the city with her pre-teen daughter (Eleonora Brown) and journeys to the small mountain village where she grew up.
The two have a close mother–daughter relationship even though they are of different temperaments. Brown is a quiet, pious girl with a generous spirit and remarkable insight. Loren calls the girl a saint and says, “I’m not even worthy to be her mother.”
As for Loren, she is a voluptuous young widow, unafraid to speak her mind. For example, when an Italian collaborator becomes overly friendly, she establishes Boundaries. “Keep your hands off me, you miserable pig!” she says.
Being a mother is Loren’s raison d’être; even when bookish university student Jean-Paul Belmondo declares his love for her, she tells him, “My daughter is enough for me.”
With the arrest of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and Allied troops pushing through German lines, Loren feels it’s safe to return to Rome.
But going home proves far more hazardous than anticipated.
To read the rest of Ruth's review, click here!