Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Arts and Science
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
European History | History | Political History
How was film initially used by Mussolini and the Fascist regime? With the fall of Fascism in 1943, how did filmmakers, who worked under and were sympathetic to the regime, transition? How did Italian filmmakers grapple with the memory of the legacy of Fascism and WWII, while also looking to the future, during the transition from German occupation, which was followed by liberation via American occupation? And of the greatest concern in this essay, how was gender used as the tool for projecting this brand new idea ofItaly? In other words, in what ways do gender roles in Italian Cinema of this era help to reveal filmmakers’ perception of a newly conceptualizedItaly? Finally, in what ways do the roles of children serve to provide contrast to and support for the masculine and feminine characters?
The most intriguing thing discovered via the analyses of these films has been the way that Rossellini and De Sica exonerated Italians from guilt, blame, and association with Fascism via their child characters. Rossellini and De Sica essentially say that the protagonists (Italians) are in some ways infantilized—they are not responsible for what has happened during World War Two, as well as in the wake of Mussolini’s fascist regime.
Poulin, Ashley Lena, "Gender in Italian Films During the Transition from the Fascist Regime to the Republic: 1943-1946" (2010). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 378.
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