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November 16, 2011
Part of: Introduction to European Cinema Autumn 2011.
Toni, an Italian immigrant in love with Spanish washerwoman Josefa, ends up marrying his landlady instead when Josefa is seduced by the local quarry foreman. Jean Renoir’s Toni is considered by many to be an early forerunner of Italian neo-realism. In addition to the use of many non-actors, most scenes are shot either outdoors in the southern French countryside or in local buildings, and the effect is palpable: one immediately gets the sense of being immersed in this particular niche of early 20th century French immigrant society.