The son of Italian-American parents who had a strong pride in their national heritage, filmmaker Martin Scorsese grew up watching Italian films with his family, and while he contends that the American cinema was always the most important to him, he also has many powerful memories of the classic period of the Italian cinema (the early '40s to the late '60s). A companion piece to his earlier documentary series A Personal Journey With Martin Scorsese Through American Movies, Il Mio Viaggio In Italia offers Scorsese's perspective on Italian film of the past, chronicling the influence and impact it had on him, as well as the rest of the world. From historical epics like Cabiria (1914) and Fabiola (1949) through neo-realist masterpieces such as Roma, Città Aperta (1945) and Ladri di Biciclette (1948) to the masterworks of Luchino Visconti, Federico Fellini, and Michelangelo Antonioni, Scorsese offers a knowledgeable take on Italian filmmaking, offering background on the artists who made the films as well as a perspective on what made these films so special (analyzing their importance both as art and as social and political documents of their place and time). Il Mio Viaggio In Italia was originally produced as a series for Italian television and given a special screening at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival; Scorsese announced at the time that he planned a companion film that would follow his interest in Italian cinema up to the present, investigating a number of lesser-known filmmakers.
~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide