Public Life, Imaginary, and Identity in Contemporary Italian Film
Edited By Giancarlo Lombardi and Christian Uva
Ellen Nerenberg - Tutta colpa di Giuda: Performing Captivity
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Still capture from Tutta colpa di Giuda, by Davide Ferrario (Rossofuoco S.a.s.)
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Tutta colpa di Giuda: Performing Captivity
The Performance of Captivity
For its abilities to reveal the exercise of power, the performance of captivity can be a profoundly political act. It could be the case that performance of any kind could reveal the workings of power.1 However, within an actual carceral setting, the unveiling of the mechanics of power by way of its performance takes on added meaning. At a minimum, prison means the explicit curbing and regulation of prisoners’ congregation, speech, bodies, actions, gestures, and so on. In fine, prison guarantees the ‘restrictions o[f] kinesthetic expression’ that are, outside of confinement, otherwise unconstrained’.2 Performances like those within Davide Ferrario’s Tutta colpa di Giuda (2009), which depicts the mounting of an original, improvisation-based musical version of the Passion of Christ in a specially privileged section of Turin’s male prison population, provide the conditions in which such restrictions of space are suspended.3 Actual, staged performances ← 389 | 390 → within a prison setting require multiple permissions: to convene at irregular times, in groups, in irregular spaces, and to admit within the setting figures who are not part of the prison population. In addition, performance, and especially its preparations, necessitates suspending routines fundamental to confinement. Movement in and through space, for example, is rechanneled. In brief, staging a performance within a prison...
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