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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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Gius Gargiulo - Mario Martone’s Noi credevamo: History and Fiction


| 340 →

Still capture from Noi credevamo, by Mario Martone (Palomar S.p.A.,  Les Films d’Ici, Rai Cinema, Rai Fiction, Arte France Cinéma, Feltrinelli)


| 341 →


Mario Martone’s Noi credevamo: History and Fiction

The 2010 Italian film Noi credevamo directed by Mario Martone1 is an adaptation of Anna Banti’s eponymous 1967 novel. The film was nominated for the Golden Lion at the 67th Venice International Film Festival. On the advent of the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy, both the novel and the film endeavour to tell a complex, contradictory, and lesser known history of the Italian Risorgimento that interpret the founding events of the Italian unification and their impact on national identity in light of recent history. Our aim here is to reflect, informed by the ideological and creative vision of the director, on the representation of the history of Risorgimento and the shift from the novel to its cinematic adaptation.

The Novel

Banti’s book pivots on the memories of the septuagenarian Domenico Lopresti, one of her ancestors, a gentleman from Calabria who, throughout the narrative, becomes the symbol of the uncompromising solitude of the revolutionary Mazzinian.2 During twelve years of imprisonment by the Bourbonians, Lopresti refuses to compromise with the reactionary power and chooses to share in the unhappy condition of his cellmates, both nobles and ← 341 | 342 → peasants. The memory of imprisonment constitutes the core of the novel,...

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