Public Life, Imaginary, and Identity in Contemporary Italian Film
Edited By Giancarlo Lombardi and Christian Uva
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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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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