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Tragedia all’italiana

Italian Cinema and Italian Terrorisms, 1970-2010


Alan O'Leary

Cinema has played a key role in articulating the impact and legacies of the so-called anni di piombo in Italy, the years of intra-national political terrorism that lasted from 1969 until well into the 1980s. Tragedia all’italiana offers an analytical exploration of Italian cinema’s representation and refraction of those years, showing how a substantial and still growing corpus of films has shaped the ways in which Italians have assimilated and remembered the events of this period.
This is the first monograph in English on terrorism and film in Italy, a topic that is attracting the interest of a wide range of scholars of film, cultural studies and critical terrorism studies. It provides novel analytical categories for an intriguing corpus of films and offers careful accounts of works and genres as diverse as La meglio gioventú, Buongiorno, notte, the poliziottesco (cop film) and the commedia all’italiana. The author argues that fiction film can provide an effective frame for the elaboration of historical experience but that the cinema is symptomatic both of its time and of the codes of the medium itself – in terms of its elisions, omissions and evasions as well as its emphases. The book is a study of a body of films that has elaborated the experience of terrorism as a fascinating and even essential part of the heritage of modern Italy.


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CHAPTER 2 Locations of Moro 27


Chapter 2 Locations of Moro Prologue: Moro in Berlin Ever since the brazen daylight kidnapping and the subsequent assassination of former Premier Aldo Moro last Spring, Italian investigators have been intrigued by indica- tions that there may have been a West German connection to the crime. Some eye- witnesses reported that they thought they heard German spoken at the scene of the abduction. Police also noted that the manner in which the kidnapping was staged and the precision execution of Moro’s five bodyguards were curiously similar in style to the kidnapping six months earlier of German industrialist Hans Martin Schleyer in Cologne. Now, Italian of ficials report that they have found more evidence of links between Italy’s terrorist Red Brigades and West Germany’s more sophisticated Red Army Faction. Among the clues were detailed expense notations found in a Red Brigades hideout in Rome that police say were used by the Moro hit team. The notes refer to airline f lights made to Vienna and four German cities by someone using the codename ‘Fritz’. Two West German automobile licence plates found in the same hideout were not listed as stolen in either West Germany or Italy, and thus presumably were taken directly to Rome. West German police tend to believe that they were close to making a connection between the Schleyer and Moro case and have had the Red Brigades under close surveillance. They are believed to be close to making an arrest of two members of the Red Brigades. Following...

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