Colonial Discourses in Italian Cinema
This study on images of Italian and African identities displayed in these films today invites viewers to reflect on racially constructed images that speak of justice and loyalty, values that reflect nationalist and patriotic ideals defining but also confining the identities of both Africans and Italians. The films analyzed in this book include Attilio Gatti’s Siliva Zulu (1927); Mario Camerini’s Kif tebbi (1928); Augusto Genina’s Squadrone bianco (1936). To conclude this journey through colonial discourses in Italian cinema, two examples of contemporary cinema given by Bernardo Bertolucci in L’assedio (1998) and Cristina Comencini in Bianco e Nero (2007) expand the study from colonial national and cultural identity to interracial relationships in today’s multiethnic Italy. The representations of African and Italian identities found in these two contemporary films grow into compelling visual documents of a historical connection that does not seem to move forward from its colonial mentality.
These films’ analyses are helpful tools for understanding the growing racial intolerance which has been troubling Italian society in the past decade. The need remains crucial to explain the racial component of the relationship between Italy and Africa by looking at the imagery of national and cultural identity found in the films shot in Africa during the Italian expansionist intervention in the 1920s and 1930s.
Bibliography Ahmida, Ali Abdullatif. “State and Class Formation and Collaboration in Colonial Libya.” In Italian Colonialism. Edited by Ruth Ben-Ghiat and Mia Fuller. New York: Palgrave, 2005. Aruffo, Alessandro. Storia del colonialismo italiano. Da Crispi a Mussolini. Rome: DataNews, 2003. Bakari, Imruh. “Introduction: African Cinema and the Emergent Africa.” In Symbolic Narratives/African Cinema. Audiences, Theory and the Moving Image. Edited by June Givanni. London: BFI, 2000. Balbi, Rosellina. All’erta siam razzisti. Milano: Mondadori, 1988. Barbujani, Guido and Pietro Cheli, eds. Sono razzista, ma sto cercando di smettere. Bari: Laterza, 2008. Barlet, Oliver. African Cinemas: Decolonizing the Gaze. New York: St. Martin Press, 1996. Barretta, Antonio. “Genina è tornato dalla Germania.” La Stampa (November 6, 1941) (XX) 3. Ben-Ghiat, Ruth. “Fascism, Writing, and Memory: the Realist Aesthetic in Italy, 1930–1950.” The Journal of Modern History 67, n.3 (September 1995): 627–665. ———. Fascist Modernities. Italy, 1922–1945. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2001. ———. “History as it really wasn’t: the myths of Italian historiography.” Journal of Modern Italian Studies 6, n.3 (2001): 402–419. ——— and Mia Fuller, eds. Italian Colonialism. New York: Palgrave, 2005. ———. “The Italian colonial cinema: agendas and audiences.” Modern Italy 8, n.1 (2003): 49–63. ———. “Unmaking the fascist man; masculinity, film and the transition from dictatorship.” Journal of Modern Italian Studies 3, n.10 (2005): 336–365. Berezin, Mabel. Making the Fascist Self: the Political Culture of Interwar Italy. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1997. Italy Meets Africa: Colonial Discourses in Italian Cinema 132 Bertellini, Giorgio. “Colonial Autism. Whitened Heroes,...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.