Public Life, Imaginary, and Identity in Contemporary Italian Film
Edited By Giancarlo Lombardi and Christian Uva
Anita Angelone - Italian Documentaries and Immigration
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Still capture from L’orchestra di Piazza Vittorio, by Agostino Ferrente (Pirata M.C. di Agostino Ferrente, Bianca Film, Lucky Red)
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Italian Documentaries and Immigration
Some Points to Consider
As documentary film has increasingly become the expressive medium of choice for a new generation of Italian film-makers, the number of non-fiction films that deal with one of the most pressing issues for the country in the last twenty years, immigration, has also escalated. The website for the Centro Studi Immigrazione (CESTIM) lists sixty-three documentaries that have dealt with the topic from 2006 through 2012, but over half of these (thirty-six) were made in 2011 and 2012 alone.1 As immigration has become a political rallying point around which conservatives and progressives stake their positions, documentary film has stepped in to fill the gap left by the relatively one-sided coverage of the Italian broadcast media. In the local and national news, immigrants most often are spoken about as perpetrators of violent crime or suspected as such, and therefore are irrevocably foreign, regularly associated with the lock-step issues of criminality and security. Documentary film counters such depictions by giving a voice to those seeking a better life in Italy and showing the obstacles to assimilation faced by most from the second- or even first-person perspective. In the interest of space, this essay will give a brief overview of several of the documentaries on the list...
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