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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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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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