L’Amore (Love, 1948)

1° A woman splashes water on her face. Her gaze into the mirror reflects hopelessness, exhaustion and even depression. She clutches a hot water bottle in her hands as she wanders aimlessly around her darkened bedroom. Suddenly the phone rings and she races to the telephone to answer on the first ring. The caller is an ex-lover who has abandoned her to marry another women. She cries and takes all responsibility for their break-up. After speaking and sobbing to him over the phone the line goes dead. Her desperation flows outward as she clutches the receiver tightly in her hand while yelling pronto! over and over again. She calls her lover at home but he’s not there. He must have called from a restaurant, she believes. She switches off the light but immediately turns it back on. Tears stream down her face, and she turns on the radio but turns it off again. Suddenly the phone rings again. Crying desperately she screams ti amo! And begins to cry again.

2° A young shepherdess tends flock on a mountainside. A placid looking vagabond passes the flock and the shepherdess on his journey but stops when the young girl begins to scream out for him, thinking he is Saint Joseph . She begs him to take her away to paradise and confesses that she prays to him daily. Praising his beauty and purity she tells him about the harassment she receives from the townspeople who tell her that she will never be accepted into heaven. Without ever speaking a word or giving her a clue as to his true identity, the wanderer offers the shepherdess wine and she drifts toward a drunken sleep. When she wakes up and looks around her saint is nowhere to be seen. She picks herself up off the ground, gathers her flock and marches home.

Some time later, she plays with the village children and suddenly collapses. As the village women bring her to, one tells her that she is pregnant. She exclaims that it is a child of God and runs to the church to pray. As word of her pregnancy spreads, the village people treat her like an outcast. In a final act of mockery, the women of the village throw flowers at her feet and begin to parade her around while singing Ave Maria. However, their joke shows through once a woman puts a metal pot on the shepherdess’ head as a halo and the crowd starts violently hurling flowers at her. Driven from town, she wanders in the countryside as the final part of her pregnancy begins, labor. Climbing the top of a hill to a lonely little church she gives birth to what she believes to be the son of God.

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