Public Life, Imaginary, and Identity in Contemporary Italian Film
Edited By Giancarlo Lombardi and Christian Uva
Giancarlo Lombardi - Viva la libertà: Language, Politics, and Consensus
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Production still from Viva la libertà, by Roberto Andò (BiBi Film Tv, Rai Cinema) Photo by Lia Pasqualino
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Viva la libertà: Language, Politics, and Consensus
Politics and cinema partake of the coexistence of bluff and genius, says one of the characters of Roberto Andò’s Viva la libertà (2013), setting up the tone for a complex visual narrative that thrives on the reciprocal mirroring of these two worlds. If the object of political cinema, as Maurizio Grande indicates, is ‘the unmasking of a truth that is hidden or disguised’ Andò’s film could be described as political because it plays with masks and disguises by highlighting and denouncing the cinematographic, performative nature of politics.1 At the very core of the plot, the trope of mirroring is instantiated by the exchange of identity between the two protagonists, identical twin brothers with strikingly different character traits. Enrico, political leader of the opposition, is portrayed as a depressed, introverted man whose lack of charisma powerfully evokes the current crisis of the left; his brother Giovanni is instead a brilliant philosopher who spent much of his life in a mental institution, and upon his release is summoned to ← 399 | 400 → impersonate Enrico, mysteriously vanished during the last critical weeks of his political campaign.
Giovanni’s joie de vivre, optimism and directness starkly contrast with the gloomy defeatist attitude of a political caste that has long...
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