Home > Academics > European Transformations > Italian Politics and History Through Film

Italian Politics and History 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, cinema allows one to construct and deconstruct many myths and identities. This course will analyze some of the most relevant Italian film productions of each defined period of history, primarily as socio-historical documents (content). Topics will include the Fascist regime (Bertolucci, Scola); the Second World War (Rossellini); the 50s reconstruction and neo-realism (De Sica), the economic miracle (Visconti), the 1970s (Scola), the Berlusconi Years (Gandini) to Rome of the present day (Sorrentino). Analysis of these films will be contextualized within a thorough grounding in contemporary Italian history.

Film Screenings

As this is a film class you will be required to watch a minimum of five movies, which are screened outside of class time. This means that if you chose this course you 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