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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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Catherine O’Rawe - La prima linea: Film, Terrorism, and the Politics of Funding

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Still capture from La prima linea, by Renato De Maria (Lucky Red,  Les Films du Fleuve, RTBF, Rai Cinema, Sky,Quickfire Films Limited)



 

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CATHERINE O’RAWE

La prima linea: Film, Terrorism, and the Politics of Funding

The film La prima linea (Renato De Maria 2009), an adaptation of the memoir Miccia corta by ex-Prima Linea member Sergio Segio, may appear to be a ‘political’ film only in the sense that it addresses a well-known period of Italy’s dark recent past: the extra-parliamentary violence of the 1970s and early 1980s, and its legacy. However, the film is also interesting for the ways in which it became entangled in the institutional politics of Italian cinema, and for the insight it gives into the relation between the political and cultural spheres in post-terrorist Italy. I will discuss the film in terms of its contested production and reception, and in terms of the ways in which it points up key issues regarding Italian cinema and the political past. I will outline some of the discussions around the film, the compromises made by the film-makers to placate the victims’ groups and the government, and will situate the film in relation to what has been termed a ‘turn to the victim’ in recent years in Italy.

The film follows on the heels of a long cycle of films dealing with the anni di piombo; as such, it is, as...

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