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Conflicts of Memory

The Reception of Holocaust Films and TV Programmes in Italy, 1945 to the Present


Emiliano Perra

Situated at the confluence of history, media and cultural studies, this book reconstructs the often deeply discordant and highly selective memories of the Holocaust in Italy in the postwar era. The author’s core method is one of reception analysis, centred on the public responses to the many films and television programmes that have addressed the Holocaust from the 1940s to the present day. Tied to the heritage of Fascism, antifascism, and the Resistance, public memory of the Holocaust in Italy has changed greatly over the years. Self-acquitting myths of Italian innocence and victimhood, and universalising interpretations grounded in Catholicism and Communism, provided the initial frameworks for understanding the Holocaust. However, the last two decades have seen an increasing centrality of the Holocaust in memory culture but have also witnessed the establishment of a paradigm that relativises other fascist crimes and levels the differences between Fascism and antifascism. Working with the largest corpus yet established of Holocaust film and television in Italy, from the 1948 retelling of the Wandering Jew myth to Roberto Benigni’s controversial Life Is Beautiful, from the American miniseries Holocaust to Perlasca: The Courage of a Just Man, Conflicts of Memory probes Italy’s ongoing, if incomplete, process of coming to terms with this important aspect of its past.


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List of Films and TV Programmes 233


List of Films and TV Programmes Films Cavalleria [Cavalry] (1936) Goffredo Alessandrini. Luciano Serra pilota [Luciano Serra, Pilot] (1938) Goffredo Alessandrini. Gone with the Wind (1939) Victor Fleming. Roma città aperta [Open City] (1945) Roberto Rossellini. Paisà [Paisan] (1946) Roberto Rossellini. Monsieur Verdoux (1947) Charles Chaplin. L’ebreo errante [The Wandering Jew] (1948) Goffredo Alessandrini. Ostatni Etap [The Last Stop] (1948) Wanda Jakubowska. Il grido della terra [The Cry of the Land] (1949) Duilio Coletti. Il monastero di Santa Chiara – Napoli ha fatto un sogno [The Monastery of Saint Clare – Naples Has Made a Dream] (1949) Mario Sequi. Carica eroica [Heroic Charge] (1952) Francesco De Robertis. Penne nere [Black Feathers] (1952) Oreste Biancoli. Febbre di vivere [Eager to Live] (1953) Claudio Gora. I fidanzati [The Fiancés] (1953) script by Vasco Pratolini and Franco Zeffirelli. I sette dell’Orsa Maggiore [Human Torpedoes] (1953) Duilio Coletti. Divisione Folgore [Folgore Division] (1954) Duilio Coletti. Nuit et Brouillard [Night and Fog] (1956) Alain Resnais. Belle ma povere [Poor Girl, Pretty Girl] (1957) Dino Risi. Lazzarella (1957) Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia. Vacanze a Ischia [One Week with Love] (1957) Mario Camerini. The Diary of Anne Frank (1959) George Stevens. Il Generale della Rovere [General della Rovere] (1959) Roberto Rossellini. La grande guerra [The Great War] (1959) Mario Monicelli. 234 List of Films and TV Programmes 16 ottobre 1943 [16 October 1943] (1960) Ansano Giannarelli. Ceneri della memoria [Ashes of Memory] (1960) Alberto Caldana. La ciociara [Two Women] (1960) Vittorio De Sica. La dolce vita (1960) Federico Fellini....

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