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Italian Political Cinema

Public Life, Imaginary, and Identity in Contemporary Italian Film

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Edited By Giancarlo Lombardi and Christian Uva

Despite the powerful anti-political impulses that have pervaded Italian society in recent years, Italian cinema has sustained and renewed its longstanding engagement with questions of politics, both in the narrow definition of the term, and in a wider understanding that takes in reflections on public life, imaginary, and national identity. This book explores these political dimensions of contemporary Italian cinema by looking at three complementary strands: the thematics of contemporary political film from a variety of perspectives; the most prominent directors currently engaged in this filone; and case studies of the films that best represent this engagement. Conceived and edited by two Italian film scholars working in radically different academic settings, Italian Political Cinema brings together a wide array of critical positions and research from Italy, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. The tripartite structure and international perspective create a volume that is an accessible entry-point into a subject that continues to attract critical and cultural attention, both inside and outside of academia.
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Anita Angelone - Italian Documentaries and Immigration

Extract

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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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ANITA ANGELONE

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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