The Skin 1981 | Boys in movies [BiM]

The Skin 1981 | Boys in movies [BiM]
The Skin 1981

The Skin (1981)

The Skin 1981
– La pelle (original title)
– 2h 11 min. | Drama, War | 25 November 1981 (France)


In 1943, as the Italian Captain, Curzio Malaparte, shakes hands with the U.S. Army General, Mark Clark, the war is practically over for battle-scarred Naples. However, the long-awaited peace is yet to come. Among the devastating war’s many casualties, once more, the innocents are the biggest victims, as the impoverished mothers and daughters are forced into prostitution, having no other means of survival. Against the backdrop of the mighty Mount Vesuvius, three disparate women–the virginal, Maria Concetta; Capri’s aristocratic princess, Consuelo Caracciolo, and the idealistic U.S. Air Force pilot, Deborah Wyatt–find themselves trapped in an unbearable hell on earth. Is our delicate skin the only barrier between the immortal soul and the evils of the world?

User review:

This movie is based on the true memoirs of the main character (Curzio Malaparte) during his time when he acted as diplomatic liaison between the Allied forces and the Italian in the newly occupied Italy. The book is a collection of short stories depicting the collapse of the Italian society under Allied occupation. There is no story line between those short stories. The movie puts them in chronological order, but the reigning chaos and lack of moral message (the message is exactly the lack of morality) can confuse the spectator.

This is a very original war movie, in that the main theme is the not the war front. The Allied are not viewed from their own perspective, which is one of true liberators. Instead, the movie shows the Italian people courting the Allies as liberators in order to escape from starvation. The Allies themselves are caught in a trap where they know the Italian hospitality isn’t sincere, but are unable to understand why. They don’t realize that before them, the Germans were courted as liberators too, and that in this context of food shortage and general poverty, the only way the Italians have to secure their survival is to play that game.

Malaparte (played by Marcello Mastroiani) acts then as a translator, helping the Americans as a guide would help a tourist, by explaining in each situation why people are acting in this seemingly dishonorable way.

La Pelle (The Skin) would make more sense if compared to Malaparte’s twin book on the occupied Europe (Kaputt, or Broken to Pieces). In the latter, he portrays the Nazi way of oppressing through violence. In La Pelle, he shows how the Americans achieve a similar result through economic means, while refusing any responsibility. In Kaputt, Jewish women are made prostitutes by the German Army to escape death by the bullet; in La Pelle, Italian women become prostitutes for the American Army to escape death by starvation.

Director: Liliana Cavani
Writers: Curzio Malaparte (novel “La pelle”), Robert Katz (screenplay), Liliana Cavani (screenplay)
Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Ken Marshall, Alexandra King
Countries of origin: Italy, France
Language: Italian
Also known as: Koza
Filming locations: Rome, Lazio, Italy.

The Skin 1981 | Boys in movies [BiM]

Format : Matroska
Format version : Version 4
File size : 2.21 GiB
Duration : 2 h 14 min
Overall bit rate : 2 360 kb/s

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