Maurizio Zinni

Una lettera dall'Africa. Italian Colonialism in Postwar Cinema, 1945-1960

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Colonialism; Italian Cinema; Postcolonial Italy.

After the Second World War, Italian cinema produced several interesting films, documentaries and newsreels about the national colonial history. This production encouraged a public narration on Italian colonialism that drew attention to some recurrent issues of the colonial Liberal and Fascist ideology. At the same time, it focused on new concerns emerging in the mid-Forties through the Fifties, in the framework of the new democratic season. This representation of the Italian involvement in Africa was an hybrid form in-between history and report, and it was focused on some key concepts: the humanitarian and modernizing nature of Italian colonialism; the celebration of its conquests; the colonial mission as sacrifice of Italian people. Therefore, the screen revealed a nostalgic picture of a glorious page of the national history and promoted a historical collective heritage that helped to achieve a reconstruction of Italian national identity in the changing political context of the Cold War.

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