We the Living


2h 54m 1942

Brief Synopsis

Doomed love within a corrupt political world. At 18, the beautiful and smart Kira comes to Petersburg as the Communists consolidate power. She rebuffs a cousin who rises in the Party and may remember the slight. She falls in love with Leo, the son of an aristocrat, who gets into political trouble and never gets out. Meanwhile, a Party leader, Andrei, also loves her, and she feigns love for him to get political protection for Leo and money to pay for his TB treatment. But can Leo forgive her being Andrei's mistress? Subplots dramatize Party corruption, the disillusion of those who fought hardest in the revolution, and reflections on the man's individual nature.

Film Details

Also Known As
Noi Vivi, Nous les Vivants
Release Date
1942
Production Company
Duncan Scott Productions; Scalera Films/Era Film; We The Living Film Company

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 54m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Synopsis

Doomed love within a corrupt political world. At 18, the beautiful and smart Kira comes to Petersburg as the Communists consolidate power. She rebuffs a cousin who rises in the Party and may remember the slight. She falls in love with Leo, the son of an aristocrat, who gets into political trouble and never gets out. Meanwhile, a Party leader, Andrei, also loves her, and she feigns love for him to get political protection for Leo and money to pay for his TB treatment. But can Leo forgive her being Andrei's mistress? Subplots dramatize Party corruption, the disillusion of those who fought hardest in the revolution, and reflections on the man's individual nature.

Film Details

Also Known As
Noi Vivi, Nous les Vivants
Release Date
1942
Production Company
Duncan Scott Productions; Scalera Films/Era Film; We The Living Film Company

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 54m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Quotes

Trivia

The film is based on the novel "We the living" by American author Ayn Rand. Director Gofferdo Alessandrini read it and thought it would make an excellent epic, but Italy was at war with the United States and acquiring rights to the novel would be a major obstacle. Following the then laisser-faire attitude regarding what seemed at the time trivial matters, Alessandrini and screenwriter Anton Majano, decided to simply use the novel and base their screenplay on it. Whilst he was working on another film (_Nozze di sangue_ ), Scalera Film, the production company, asked several other writers to rewrite scenes and dialogues from the existing screenplay, but the final draft ended up being so different from Alessandrini and Majano's original screenplay that they both decided to start shooting without a script and just follow the book. They wrote the scenes at night and handed them over to the actors in the morning. As weeks went by it soon became evident that it would take longer than the customary three weeks of shooting to finish this film and that there was also enough material for two films. But nothing was said to the actors, as they probably would have requested to be paid double. Despite the fact that Rand's book is an overt criticism of the communist regime and ideology, the fascist Ministry of Culture soon became aware that Alessandrini was also using the film as a platform to criticise the Mussolini government. The shooting was interrupted several times by fascist officials who demanded to see the rushes, but Alessandrini had two edited copies of the film, one that would be in line with the fascist ideology and another one which reflected his own vision of the story. In September 1942, after nearly five months of shooting, the film was completed and presented at the Venice Film Festival where it received the highest accolade and was awarded the Volpe Cup. It went on general release in November of the same year as two separate films, "Noi Vivi" and Addio Kira! (1942) and proved to be a resounding success with the I