Noi vivi / We the Living

TitleNoi vivi / We the Living
Publication TypeFilm
Year of Publication1942
AuthorsAlessandrini, Goffredo
Running Time2h 50min
Date Released09/14/1942
DistributorScalera Film
Publication LanguageItalian

This film, set during the Russian Revolution, is based on We the Living, a semi-autobiographical novel by Ayn Rand first published in 1936. Originally meant to be two films, Noi vivi and Addio Kira, this film is a two-part 1942 Italian romantic war film directed by Goffredo Alessandrini. The story follows Kira Argounova, a daring young Russian girl held back by her anti-communist family name. As her family struggles to make a living in the rapidly changing city of St. Petersburg, Kira meets a strange man – Leo Kovalensky – who seems to share her passion and convictions.The two soon embark on a passionate love affair, but are barely able to make ends meet. When Leo is diagnosed with incipient tuberculosis, Kira becomes the lover of Andrei Taganov, an idealistic young Communist high in the Party circles, to secure the money to pay for Leo's tuberculosis treatment. With help from Andrei, she is able to save Leo’s life…though neither Leo nor Andrei knows of the other’s existence. Emergent themes in the novel and film involve Party corruption, the disillusion of those who fought for the revolution, and reflections on man's individual nature and existential freedom. The film was produced and released during World War II, and was subsequently banned by the Fascist government on account of its anti-authoritarian nature. The film was lost and forgotten for decades, then found and restored with Ayn Rand's involvement. It was released for the first time in the United States in August 1986.

Original PublicationWe the Living
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