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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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Anna Paparcone - Marco Tullio Giordana’s Cinema and Its Civil Engagement: Truth Does Not Play Anyone’s Game


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Production still from Romanzo di una strage, by Marco Tullio Giordana (Cattleya, Rai Cinema, Babe Films) Courtesy of Angelo Turetta


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Marco Tullio Giordana’s Cinema and its Civil Engagement: Truth Does not Play Anyone’s Game

The intellectual courage to champion truth and political practice are irreconcilable in Italy.

— PIER PAOLO PASOLINI, Scritti corsari, 1975

Since his debut with Maledetti vi amerò in 1980 Marco Tullio Giordana has produced thirteen films, the most recent being Romanzo di una strage (2012). These films do not readily point to any specific left- or right-wing political affiliation. My reflections on Giordana’s political cinema stem from a lively exchange of ideas I had with film critic Cecilia Mangini, according to whom ‘Giordana is born a socialist, anchored to the PSI of Morandi, De Martino, that party that Craxi “suicided” causing the condemnation of Mani Pulite and of the public opinion’.1 With the collapse of the PSI, socialists faced the threat of surrendering ‘that laicism that [they] uniquely represented in our country’ to the PCI; and although ‘the majority kept their ideas […] the price to pay was to shrivel up in political hatred against the communists. Giordana is one of them’.2 Given this account, Mangini concludes that ‘Pasolini, un delitto italiano (1995), I cento passi (2000) and La meglio gioventù (2003) […] belong to the great socialist cultural tradition of Italian cinema; […] Sanguepazzo (2008) and Romanzo...

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