The author discusses the typical presentation of neo-realism, present in film historiography thanks to French film critics (Bazin and Deleuze). He argues that the recognition of neo-realism as the turning point in the evolution of the language of film, should not obscure the fact, that films classified as neo-realist have more in common with classic film narratives and are inspired by early cinema. According to him, it is an oversimplification to argue that neo-realism is the 'cinema of failure', in which the world 'happens' independently from the actions of the characters portrayed, who have no influence on the development of events. The author argues that neo-realism should not be understood purely as a style, and that the context of Italy of 1940s also needs to be considered. Films that are classified as neo-realist played an important psycho-social function, the proof of which is to be found in the portrayals of violence in films such as 'Rome', 'Open City', and 'Days of Glory'Neorealism; Rosselini Roberto, which are understood to be a reaction to the traumatic events from the time of war.