Rome, Open City
[Roberto Rossellini (director)]. The Open City. [Roma città aperta or Rome, Open City]. San Jose, California: Communist Party of Santa Clara County, [circa 1946]. Original mimeographic herald advertising a screening at the Fox Padre Theatre. Folio (14 x 8.5 inches; 355 x 215 mm.). Single sheet, text printed both sides (in English on one, Italian on the other). Top margin tanned, more so on the English-language side; fainter, uneven discoloration to the bottom margin of both sides; top edge worn with some minor chipping and a closed tear (about one and one-half inches long) partially affecting a single letter in the headline; few other minor closed tears; light creasing; corners softened; horizontal fold; brief notes in pencil on the English side. Very good.
The Fox Plaza Theatre, before being demolished, was located just a few blocks from the present-day Little Italy neighborhood of San Jose. The Communist Party of Santa Clara targeted a sizable demographic in the region and shrewdly capitalized on the release of a landmark film to advance their cause as Italians were certainly going through a post-fascism identity crisis. The Italian Communist Party (PCI) received the third most votes in the Italian parliamentary election of 1946 and became the second largest party two years later (it's possible one of these elections is referenced in the copy of the herald, "and last Monday [the PCI] won great victories in the Italian elections"). Film as a Subversive Art, p. 132 (photo only); Criterion Collection, #497. (#10013).