In one of four tour-de-force historical dramas Magnani made for Italian television in the early 1970s (all directed by Alfredo Giannetti, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Divorce Italian Style), she dazzles as a washed-up cabaret star who receives an invitation to perform for soldiers fighting on the front lines of World War I. What the faded diva imagines to be a comeback engagement becomes a transformative experience when she is confronted with the realities of war. Magnani’s status as the living symbol of her country is concretized in the powerful image of her delivering a tear-stained rendition of the Neapolitan ballad “O surdato ’nnammurato.” 35mm print from Istituto Luce Cinecittà.