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Italian Political Cinema

Public Life, Imaginary, and Identity in Contemporary Italian Film


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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Paolo Russo - Gimme (Tax) Shelter: The Politics of the Production System


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Gimme (Tax) Shelter: The Politics of the Production System

Cultural Exception and the Current Laws on Cinema

The debate around public support of cultural industries has been recently rekindled by the proposed mandate for the long-anticipated EU-US free trade agreement at the 2013 G8 summit in Lough Earne. On 4 June, representatives of virtually all sections of the Italian film industry – associations, unions and guilds, companies, networks, actors, directors, writers – addressed an open letter to PM Enrico Letta along with a petition to be submitted to the EU Parliament during the talks ahead of the summit. They advocate a strong defence of ‘cultural exception’ and reject the three so-called ‘red lines’ of the mandate that, rather dogmatically, seem to no longer include any space for political debate on diversity.1 Cultural exception and diversity are not vague notions. UNESCO’s Universal Declaration defines cultural diversity as ‘the common heritage of humanity’ that, as such, is ‘necessary for humankind’ (art. 1); accordingly, all States must develop and implement adequate policies to enable and support cultural industries (art. 9). Cultural exception translates these principles into real policies that tackle the imbalances of a global market that, especially in the case of cinema more than other cultural goods and services, is not open to fair competition due to pervasive domination of multinational and supranational conglomerates. These are the ← 133 | 134 → foundations upon which, following the heated...

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