Odessa on fire


January 22, 2022

Odessa in Fiamme is a joint Italian-Romanian feature film directed by Carmine Gallone in 1942. It is dedicated to the events of the siege of Odessa in 1941, during which Romanian troops with the support of the 11th Army Wehrmacht fought with the Red Army. In 1944, when Red Army troops entered the Kingdom of Romania, the film, along with many others, was banned. Some of the actors were persecuted; others, such as Giorgio Timique and Silvia Dumitrescu, made further careers in socialist Romania and did not mention their cooperation with the former regime. The film was considered lost for more than 50 years, but was discovered in December 2006 at the Cinecittà archives in Rome. The film is voiced in Italian with Romanian subtitles. He describes the drama of refugees from Bessarabia, annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940, and praises Romanian troops who came to Soviet territory in 1941 to annex Moldovan-populated territories to the Kingdom of Romania. The film won the Biennale Prize at the Venice Film Festival in 1942. The film uses wartime documentaries, including refugees.


Maria Chebotar plays the role of opera singer Maria Teodorescu, a native of Bessarabia. Enraged by the infidelity of her husband, a captain in the Romanian army, she and her 8-year-old son traveled to Chisinau, which was occupied by Red Army troops in 1940, while her husband remained in the Kingdom of Romania. The boy, who was taken to a children's camp near Odessa, was brought up in the Soviet spirit, deprived of communication with his mother. In order to be able to see her son, she had to be blackmailed by the authorities and perform in Soviet theaters and cafes. During the performances she distributes her autographed photos. One of these photos accidentally falls into the hands of her husband. At the end of the film, after a series of tragic events, the family reunites. In the last shots, Romanian troops solemnly enter Odessa.


Maria Chebotar - Maria Teodorescu Mircea Acsent - Pietro George Timique - Giovanni Alexis Sylvia Dumitrescu-Timique - Anna Carlo Ninki - Captain Sergio Teodorescu Filippo Skelzo - Michel Smirnov Olga Solbelli - Luba Ruby d'Alma - Florica Kekko Rissone - Gruschenko


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