Rosi to receive Berlinale's lifetime award

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COLOGNE, Germany -- Francesco Rosi, one of the giants of Italian cinema, will be honored with a lifetime achievement Golden Bear at the 2008 Berlin International Film Festival.

The upcoming Berlinale also will feature an homage of 13 Rosi films, including "Salvatore Giuliano," the film that won the best director Silver Bear in Berlin in 1962 and marked Rosi's international breakthrough.

In his long career, the 85-year-old Rosi has returned repeatedly to Italian economic and political history. Whether it is the history of the Mafia in films such as the Palme d'Or-winning "The Mattei Affair" (1972) and "Lucky Luciano" (1973); the tension between Italy's rich industrial north and its poor agricultural south in "Christ Stopped at Eboli" (1979); or the fate of Italian post-World War II immigrants to West Germany in "The Magliari" (1959).

In addition to the Palme d'Or and the Silver Bear, Rosi won Venice's Golden Lion in 1963 for "Hands Over the City," an expose of building scandals in his hometown of Naples.

"With their explosive power, Rosi's films are still persuasive today. His works are classics of politically engaged cinema," Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick said.

Rosi will receive his Golden Bear at a ceremony in Berlin on Feb. 14. A screening of "Salvatore Giuliano" will follow the ceremony.

The 58th annual Berlin International Film Festival runs Feb. 7-17.
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