Luchino Visconti, Rocco e i suoi fratelli
Watch the film and consider the following questions:
- Bondanella claims that each of the brothers represents a possible response to immigrant problems. Taking each brother in turn, outline their different responses to migration. What ideological positions do you think each brother represents.
- ‘The film centres on the disintegration of the family and its traditional values in modern urban Italy as represented by Milan’ (Rohdie, p. 9). / Visconti concentrates upon the dramatic clash of differing value systems’ (Bondanella, p. 197). What are these values? How do different value systems clash in the film? How does this lead to the family's disintegration?
- What do you think are the reasons behind the failure of the Parondi family?
- How is the city of Milan represented in the film? What areas and aspects of Milan do we see?
- Does the film challenge or reinforce common perceptions and stereotypes of southern Italians and northern Italians?
- ‘Melodrama is never far from Visconti’s world. […] The atmosphere established by the triangle of Rocco, Simone, and Nadia is much closer to the spirit of nineteenth-century opera than to that of a naturalist novel or neo-realist film’. (Bondanella, p. 198). How do you define melodrama? What scenes are particularly melodramatic. What purpose do they serve?
- How is violence represented? What is the role of violence in the film?
- How are the ‘Southern Question’ and Italy's ‘Economic Miracle’ represented in the film? How are the southern peasant family treated in the industrial northern city?
- ‘The ideological weight of the film is with Ciro and Luca, but its dramatic force is with Simone and Rocco, victims of the ideology represented by their more socially progressive and integrated brothers’ (Rohdie, p 17). What does Rohdie mean here by 'ideological weight'? In what way is the dramatic force with Simone and Rocco and how can they both be seen as victims?
- Rohdie argues that women in the film are socially disruptive forces; instead of holding the family together, they help destroy it. How are the female figures portrayed in the film. Do you agree with Rohdie's statement and why/why not?