Synopsis: Living in an Italian refugee camp in 1948, the beautiful Karen meets Antonio, a resident of the men's camp. While not in love with him, Karen marries him and they soon set of for his home village, Stromboli. The village is on a remote island at the foot of an active volcano. She despairs at what she finds when she arrives. The village is on barren land and virtually devoid of people as many have left, mostly for the United States. She doesn't speak the local dialect and is treated with disdain by some of the locals who see her as an exotic foreigner and a loose woman. After Antonio beats her and locks her in their house, she sets off across the mountains to seek her freedom and a better future.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Roberto Rossellini
Production: Criterion Collection
  2 wins & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
81 min


"I am sought of them that asked not for me;|I am found of them that sought me not."|Isaiah 65.1

Spring 1948.|In one of the foreign refugee camps

Refugees have arrived in Italy|fleeing the war.

Will you give me your blue shirt?

Ever since they moved the soldiers

to the other side of the camp|they act like school children.

-Poor things.|They have been prisoners...

Now that they've returned|they have a right to enjoy themselves.

What the hell is she saying?

-She says our situation is worse because

we know nothing about our families and

we have no place to go.

They haven't come here for a good time either.

Well, my soldier is still looking|for his father and mother.

They were in Casino, but had to leave;|who knows where they are now?

The poor thing has gone many times|to Rome for news...

Poor boy! He's really so handsome and strong.

How I love the soldiers!

Karin... Don't you hear your boyfriend?

See you later.

-Good luck.|-I hope so.

-Hello.|-Good evening. What's new?

Its cold tonight.

-Cold?|-Yes. Cold.

Instead of a warm greeting|you're complaining of the cold?

-What do you want me to say?|-Anything but that.

-Move it! You can't stay here.|-Leave me alone.

-Don't you know the rules?|-Its obvious you all weren't

at the front...|OK, I'm going.

-You too, out of here.|-OK, Sergeant, I'm coming in a moment.

Come on girls, out of here.

You can't stay here.|Come on, out of here.

"Though they are the masters|in this hell...

"and they act like tyrants..."

You know how much I like you?|Make up your mind, yes or no.

I don't know.|What are you trying to say?

-Will you marry me or not?|Why do you laugh? I'm serious.

You're crazy! You don't even know me!

We talk a few times through the barbed wire...

-...and now you want to marry me?|-Sure.

-And if you're wrong?|-I like you, you drive me crazy.

And if later you discover|I'm not how you imagined me?

-Women need a strong hand,|I'll lock you up.

-What does that mean?|I know this, and this, and this...

-Its the hand that gives.|-Ah, you want to slap me around.

Damn fence.|Come on, make up your mind.

I can't go on wasting my time here.

If you want an answer,|come tomorrow night.

He is simple and loving. He lives|on a Mediterranean island.

-He says I am very pretty.|-Do you like him?

I can't even understand what he says.|He seems nice but...

...he is only a boy.

-What will you do?|- I don't know. What can I do?

He wants to marry. He's crazy.

Tomorrow we'll see.|Everything depends on the visa

to go to Argentina.|If they don't give it to me...

...I know what I am going to do.

Good day. Have this one come in.

OK, let her in.

Prepare her report: name, nationality,|age, parents' names and her profession.

We have good information about her.|She speaks Italian, was born in Lithuania.

Well then, have her come in.

What's your name?|-Karin Bjorsen.

-Born in...|- Kaunas, Lithuania.

-Birth date.|- May 8, 1920.

-Father's name.|-Karl Bjorsen.

-Mother's name.|-Maria Pasqualis.


The consul needs more information.|He would like to know how and why

you came to be interred here.

I lived in Czechoslovakia before the war.

I was married to an architect who died

during the German occupation.|Afterward I went to Yugoslavia.

And when it too was invaded|I escaped to Italy because...

the Gestapo were looking for me.

I entered Italy illegally|and obtained residency...

with forged documents.

After the 8th of September|I managed to escape from the German police.

But then I was sent here|by the Italian authorities.

Do you have a letter of recommendation|in order to emigrate to Argentina?

-Here you are.

The consul says that|the documents you've presented

are not sufficient for|your transfer to Argentina.

I thought so.

By the mutual accord presented before me...

I declare you married according to the rites

of the Holy Church, a marriage under the Sacrament

of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This Sacrament, in addition to the

teachings of the Holy Gospel,

includes the promise to offer mutual support,

religious, moral and physical education,

and also includes the civil duties|in conformance

with the laws of this country,|which you are obliged

-... to respect and fulfill.|-Amen.

-How will you get there?|- First we go to Rome,

then by train until Mesina.|From there some ship

will take us on.

Look, here she comes.

Give me a hand.

-Congratulations.|-Until next time. Goodbye.

I'm cold.

Let's go below. Come on.

-Would you like to sit here?|-Yes, thank you.

I'll put on the raincoat.

I was a prisoner too.|In Australia.

It was South Africa for me.|Going to Stromboli?

Yes, I'm the lighthouse guard.

You can see it clearly now, the volcano.

Come here.

Look at the crater.|Do you see the lava?

It can't be seen as well|from the other side.

-Is it always erupting?|-Yes, always. Look,

sometimes the lava flows until it reaches the sea.


-My suitcases.|-Yes, I'll get them.

-Wait, I'll get them.|-There's only two more.

-How are you?|-Quite well.

-Help me unload.|-You, take that suitcase.

Come here, Vincenzo.

-Go on ahead, I'll bring them.|-Antonio, what do we do with this?

-Bring it along?|-Yes.

I'll see you when I come down from the lighthouse.|-Yes, see you then.

I am Antonio Mastrostefano.|You know my Aunt Rosario?

-Yes.|-Run on and let her know we're here.

-Welcome, Antonio.|- Thank you, Father.

-This is my wife.|-A pleasure, my congratulations.

-Thank you, Father.|-Welcome.

I see you two were married|just after receiving the letter

I sent, eh? That's good.

-I'm so pleased.|-And I'm pleased to be here.

I'm happy to see someone|return to the island

with a wife, to start a family.

I've seen so many people|from here leave,

and many others just waiting|to leave for Argentina, Australia...

the United States, France,|England. Wherever they have

a relative able to pay for their voyage.

Life here...|is very hard.

And the land...|is also hard.

-Yes, Father, but...|- Saint Bartholomew, our patron saint,

will protect you. He stopped|the volcano's lava

during the great eruption of '41.

And saved our homes.

I am sure you will be happy.

-This is your house now.|-Thank you, Father.

Good day.

Its a baby boy.

Why did you kiss|the priest's hand?

-It is the custom here.

This island is a desert.

-It seems deserted.|-If it were deserted

there wouldn't be any children, right?

-Aunt Rosario.|-Thanks be to God,

at last they've let you come home. How are you?

-The Virgin was good to me, Aunt Rosario.

This is Karin, my wife.|This is my aunt from America.

-Welcome.|-You were in America?

-Yes, many years ago.|Many of us here have

lived in America.|And you returned?

-This is my home...|-Is any of the family still here?

-No. They've all gone.

-Things go alright?|-We can't complain.

And Vincenzo Bernaudo?|He hasn't returned?

Yes, but then he left|straightaway for Australia.

You have no one to send you money

but he does, they paid for his voyage.

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Roberto Rossellini

Roberto Gastone Zeffiro Rossellini (8 May 1906 – 3 June 1977) was an Italian film director and screenwriter. Rossellini was one of the directors of the Italian neorealist cinema, contributing to the movement films such as the 1945 Roma città aperta (Rome, Open City). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Stromboli" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 24 Jul 2024. <>.

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