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Sophia Loren returns to film to play Auschwitz survivor

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Published: 3 November 2020

Last updated: 5 March 2024

The Italian cinema legend is starring in The Life Ahead after a 10-year acting hiatus

DECADES AFTER SHE FIRST lit up the screen with her intoxicating sex appeal, Italian film legend Sophia Loren makes her comeback as an Auschwitz survivor and former prostitute in The Life Ahead.

In her first film role in 10 years, the 86-year-old actress plays Madame Rosa, an elderly woman who makes a living looking after the children of prostitutes.

The film is based on La Vie Devant Soi, a book by French-Lithuanian writer Romain Gary, which won the country’s most prestigious literary prize, the Goncourt, in 1975. The movie was a labour of love for Loren’s son, Edoardo Ponti, who co-wrote it as well as directing it.

“When Edoardo showed me the script, I immediately knew this was the story I was waiting for,” the actress has said. “It’s wonderful, I’ve been waiting for this sort of role for a very long time.”

Madame Rosa, old, battered by life, her body in tatters, doesn’t at first look like a good fit for the former screen siren but it’s easy to forget that Loren made her name (and won an Oscar, the first for a foreign language film role) in the gritty Second World War drama Two Women. She also starred in some excellent Italian neo-realistic movies before she reached Hollywood and international stardom.

Loren throws herself into the role of Madame Rosa with no holds barred, her face heavily lined, hair gray and unkempt.

FULL STORY Sophia Loren returns to film to play Auschwitz survivor (Jewish Chronicle)

Photo: Loren in The Life Ahead (Image: Netflix)

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