La presa di Roma

Film Description

  • Year: 1905
  • Length: 10 Minutes
  • Country: Italy
  • Genre: Historian
  • Director: Filoteo Alberini
  • Producer: Nunzio Morini
  • Screenwriter: Gualtiero Fabbri
  • Cinematographer: Amedeo Turello
  • Cast: Ubaldo Maria Del Colle, Carlo Rosaspina

La presa di Roma (The Taking of Rome), also known as Bandiera bianca (White Flag) and La Breccia di Porta Pia (The Breach of Porta Pia), is a short film by Filoteo Alberini, which, in 1905, was the first film to be screened in public in Italy.

Italian cinema historian Aldo Bernardini attests to the first projection in Rome, on September 20, 1905, the day of the anniversary of the taking of Porta Pia; further research has shown, however, the existence of an earlier projection held at the "Cinematografo Artistico" in Livorno.

It was 250 meters long (about ten minutes), against the traditional 40/60, and it cost 500 liras. Today, only 75 meters of the film, or four minutes of projection, are conserved. For the official presentation, Filoteo Alberini obtains permission to have the projection outdoors on a large screen placed right in front of Porta Pia.

La presa di Roma is a "great historical reconstruction in seven pictures," the last of which is in color, of the storming of Porta Pia by the Italian Bersaglieri after vain attempts at mediation with the Papal troops. Alberini develops the basic idea by dividing it into a series of pictures, each constituting an autonomous narrative unit, which by virtue of the montage reconstruct facts and characters of recent Italian history.