Tuesday, March 31

This terrible thing was called jealousy

Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg in La Dolce Vita, 1960. Still from La Dolce Vita (Pathé, 1960). Directed by Federico Fellini. Produced by Giuseppe Amato and Angelo Rizzoli. Cinematography by Otello Martelli. Photo © John Kobal Foundation / Getty.

The backdrop is Italy, shortly after the end of World War II. Three sisters are about to marry, and to convince themselves of the love of their future husbands, ask the men what they would do if the sisters betrayed them. Two of the sisters receive answers regarding murder and separation, while the youngest, Maria, only learns from her fiance Gianni that he is certain that she would never get lost. Maria is convinced that jealousy was the true proof of love and is not satisfied with this answer. Once married, she sets out to provoke Gianni's jealousy. Only when Maria finds a weapon that she believes should be used against her when she betrays Gianni, is she satisfied. "And that night the woman dreamed happy dreams." Gianni, it turns out, has no such thing and finally convinces Maria of how ridiculous her ideas are. The couple live happily and peacefully together.

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