50 years on Italy's 'La Dolce Vita is just a distant memory'

London, Nov 6 (ANI): La Dolce Vita - 'The Sweet Life' in Italy is anything but that, as Italians struggle to cope with the worst recession since the Second World War.

The anniversary of the release of Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita - 'The Sweet Life' - in 1960 is being celebrated with exhibitions and retrospectives, but the mood is morose.

"Fifty years since the masterpiece. Fifty years in which that sweet life has unfortunately become only a distant memory," The Telegraph quoted one of Italy's biggest daily newspapers, Il Messaggero, as saying this week.

"It seems like light years have gone by since the time in which everything was possible in Italy, just like in the American Dream."

Italy is in the grips of unemployment with more than eight per cent and the number of working-age Italians classified as "inactive" - neither in employment nor seeking work.

La Dolce Vita has become an emblem for a more carefree era in which a post-war economic boom brought prosperity to millions but the self-indulgence and hedonism of the sixties has faded as the country is in dire economic straits.

The 50th anniversary of the black and white film was marked by the release of a digitally re-mastered version of the cult classic, with 10 additional minutes of scenes of Ekberg, whose kiss with the Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni has become one of the most famous scenes in cinema history.

"There's nothing left of all that. The love for fantasy, for dreaming, is no longer there. No one believes it anymore," said Sandra Milo, an actress and former lover of Fellini's.

Added to that are Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi's sex scandals; many Italians fear they are living through a much darker vision of La Dolce Vita. (ANI)

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