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Mamma Roma tells the story of a middle-aged Roman prostitute (Anna Magnani), eager to leave her lifestyle behind after her pimp marries a country girl. As Mamma Roma is released from prostitution, she reunites with her son, Ettore, who was raised in the country during her absence. Despite her best efforts to create a respectable lifestyle for her son, Ettore joins a gang and falls in love with a tramp. Mamma Roma's pimp reemerges onto the scene, causing a final downfall of the relationship between a mother anxious to hide her past and a son unable to deal with the truth.
Mamma Roma will be shown with La ricotta. In this short film, later incorporated into an episodic film directed by Robert Rossellini, Jean-Luc Godard and Ugo Gregoretti, Orson Welles plays the cynical, nameless director of a film interpretation of the Passion of the Christ. He is joined by Stracci, a subproletariat who is torn between providing for his family and satisfying his own gluttony.