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History and Memory in Italian Cinema

In the period since 1960 Italian cinema has frequently revisited recent history and most especially the experiences of Fascism, war and Resistance. This module will consider the ways in which these have been represented in different decades by directors of different generations and explore how film has contributed to, and sometimes crystallised, national debate. It will aim to explore the roles played by melodrama, literary adaptations, docu-drama, and comedy in cinematic treatments of the past, and consider tensions between history and fiction, and realism and fantasy. Among the films that may be considered are: Il generale della Rovere/General Della Rovere (Rossellini, 1960), La ciociara/Two Women (De Sica, 1960), La lunga notte del ‘43/The Long Night of 1943 (Vancini, 1960), Gli sbandati/Abandoned (Maselli, 1955), Mussolini ultimo atta/The Last Days of Mussolini (Lizzani, 1974), La notte di San Lorenzo/The Night of Shooting Stars (Taviani, 1982), La vita e’ bella/Life is Beautiful (Benigni, 1997), El Alamein/The Line of Fire (Monteleone, 2002), Fascisti su Marte/Fascists on Mars (Guzzanti, 2006). Part of the module will be devoted to the problem of how Mussolini is represented in film.


Module Outline
Reading List

Module Leader


Professor Stephen Gundle