Fascism Italian Cinema

1349 Words6 Pages
In 1922, Benito Mussolini became the official head of the Fascist regime in Italy. Mussolini is quoted as saying, “the cinema is the most powerful weapon”, although his government did not immediately interfere with the commercial industry (Bondanella, pg. 22). It was not until 1934, under the director Luigi Freddi, that fascism became greatly involved in Italian cinema. However, after the end of World War II and the fall of fascism, Italians wanted to forget about the Fascist years so many of the films made during this period ignored or lost. Of the more than seven hundred films made during this period, only a tiny amount had any real fascist propaganda. Directors as well wanted to move forward and depict a more realist view of Italian life after World War II. Here starts the beginning of the neorealist movement of Italian cinema based on the everyday conditions of many Italian citizens after the decline of Fascism.
Italian Fascism is deeply imbedded in nationalism because Italian fascist saw it as necessity for a their country to assert its dominance and power in order to avoid acceding to decay (Kallis, pg.41). At first the citizens of Italy loved fascism for they thought it was doing wonders for their country. However, after Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler became friends, people started to turn away from their fascist ways. Now, the Italian people did not always dislike Mussolini for he did do some good things for the state. He restored stability after the end of World War I, he solved some of Italy’s economic problem, and also he instituted some welfare programs after the great depression. Fascism also played a major role in the art of cinema. At first, Mussolini was reluctant to back the industry but eventually he chan...

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...ito Mussolini had many effects upon the neorealist movement such as the Institute LUCE and the “Cinema” journal. Telefoni Bianchi, which was prominent during Fascism, was too unrealistic for many of the Italian neorealist directors. Therefore, in a reaction to Telefoni Bianchi, these directors wanted to show more of the gritty and simple side of Italian life after the war. Just like Fascism had an impact on neorealist cinema, neorealism also impacted new movements such as new wave films as well as modern cinema. Pier Paolo Pasolini summed up neorealism when he said “…Passions were so strong right after the War that they really pushed us, they forced us towards this kind of film truth. And this truth was transfigured by poetry, and lyricism. It was because of if its lyricism that Neo-Realism so captured the world because there was poetry in our reality” (Gallagher).
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