Following the successful classic and contemporary Italian cinema workshops run by Dr Mark Nicholls at CO.AS.IT. (2019-2021), we continue the discussion with three new workshops. These sessions focus on three films and what they tell us about the many talents of the renowned Vittorio De Sica. The final film of the series is ‘Il Generale Della Rovere’ (R. Rossellini 1959). Based on a short story and a novel by controversial journalist Indro Montanelli, this film showcases De Sica’s talents as an actor. He plays a shyster, Emanuele Bardone, exploiting the fears of his fellow citizens desperate for news of their arrested family members in German-occupied Genova. Playing the role of a distinguished retired colonel, Bardone takes their money for his fake services without quite maintaining his emotional distance from their suffering. When the Germans finally discover his crime, they promote him to the status of a mythical partisan general, Della Rovere, and send him on assignment as a prison spy. Confronted by the even greater suffering of the political prisoners, Bardone/Della Rovere makes the great mistake for any actor – he fatally loses himself in his role. For De Sica, Rossellini’s film provides the opportunity to do the same. Only De Sica’s studied professionalism holds him back from creative self-destruction. For the great artist of post-war empathy, this is the role of a lifetime. Dr Nicholls is Senior Lecturer in Cinema Studies at the University of Melbourne, where he has taught film since 1993. He has worked as a film journalist for ABC Radio and The Age and has a list of over twenty stage credits as a playwright, performer, producer and director.