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"A feat of editing and research. Lewis served as a remarkable chronicler of life in the occupied city. His plain-spoken yet poetic sentences are read in voice-over by Benedict Cumberbatch, and the fluid editing skillfully illustrates his words with disparate material — a mix that includes archival footage and movies like Roberto Rossellini’s Paisan, Mike Nichols’s Catch-22 and Liliana Cavani’s The Skin…lending an effective visual dimension to Mr. Lewis’s tales of wartime strife in the city."
- Ben Kenigsberg, The New York Times

"A highly unusual documentary...this is a film that must be seen more than once."
- Lisa Jo Sagolla, Film Journal International

"A journey through a city turned upside down and inside out – overflowing with sex and death, violence and ingenuity. People ate cats and stole anything that wasn’t nailed down. Children turned feral. Unexploded mines made life even more of a lottery. And then Vesuvius erupted. Horrifying and thrilling."
- Phil Harrison, The Guardian

"Atmospheric, involving. Reading the author's words beautifully, Benedict Cumberbatch gives this thoughtful but unconventional doc most of its commercial appeal."
- John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter

"Francesco Patierno's collage-like approach marries Benedict Cumberbatch's narration of judiciously chosen passages with thematically matching archival footage of World War II-era occupied Naples, scenes from Naples-set movies, and contemporary shots...the read-aloud excerpts speak to Lewis' elegant, empathetic powers of observation."
- Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times

"A riveting film, a complex portrait of the mystery of Naples."
- Corriere della Sera

"If it weren’t for the time-chiseled patina on the footage dug out from archives, the powerful images of Vesuvius erupting, or the Caravaggio-esque faces of the faithful praying, there really wouldn’t be much difference between the Naples of this time and the cities martyred by the conflicts of today, like Aleppo, like Mosul."
- Il Mattino

"Magnificent. (An) elegant, moving, balanced war diary."
- Il Foglio