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Contemporary Italian Politics Through Film

Instructor: Simon Martin [see profile]

Disciplines: History, Political Science, Film and Media Studies

Italian cinema provides an excellent route for understanding social and political change throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. As arguably the most important artistic medium of modernity, this course will analyze some of the most relevant Italian film productions in clearly defined periods of history. Examination of the selected films as socio-historical documents in conjunction with class lectures and discussion, will provide students with a solid grounding in the dramatic changes that Italy experienced in this period and the differing political regimes, ideologies and  administrations that drove them, such as Fascism, Communism, the Catholic Church, terrorism and the emergence of the ‘New Right’ in the 1990s. Topics and directors may be drawn from:  Second World War (Rossellini), the 1950s reconstruction (De Sica), the economic miracle (Fellini, Visconti), the 1970s (Petri, Bertolucci, the Taviani brothers), the Berlusconi Years (Gandini, Moretti) through to the contemporary period (Dritti, Sorrentino, Bhuiyan). 

Film Screenings
As this is a film class students will be required to watch a minimum of five, which are screened outside of class time at the Rome Study Center. This means that students who choose this course will have 10-15 extra hours of screening during the five weeks of the course.



  • a midterm 
  • a final paper (6 pages) 
  • a final exam