Patrizia Palumbo

Abstracts

1 Italian Emigration to Germany as Represented in the Films Francesco Rosi and Toni Trupia

Authors: Patrizia Palumbo

Abstract:

There are only two Italian films dealing with the Italian emigration to Germany: I magliari directed by Francesco Rosi and Itaker. Vietato agli italiani directed by Toni Trupia. Consequently, the analysis of these two films is essential to any study of the representation of the Italians’ experience in Germany, their hosting country. Francesco Rosi’s I magliari and Toni Trupia’s Itaker. Vietato agli italiani, released respectively in 1959 and in 2012, are both set in the second half of the twentieth century and deal with door to door Italian cloth sellers in German cities, con artists marketing rags as fine fabric to exclusively German customers. However, the perspective of the directors and screenwriters are, if not antithetical, profoundly different. Indeed, from 1959 to 2012, years in which the two films were released, Italy went from being a country of emigration to a country of both immigration (albeit now temporary) and emigration. The paper entitled ‘Representation of the Italian Emigration to Germany in the Films of Francesco Rosi and Toni Trupia’ will analyze, therefore, the two substantially different historical contingencies in which the two movies were produced and cast light on how the same historical reality, that of Italian cloth sellers in German cities, is portrayed by Rosi and Trupia’s films. In particular, it will show how in both films the female character is the site on which power (or the lack of it) is contested. More precisely, it will highlight how the German blond woman in Rosi’s film and the dark haired Albanian woman in Trupia’s film are a reflection of the changes Italy underwent in the last fifty years. Finally, this paper will comment on why Italian emigration to Germany has been overlooked by Italian scholars. Although these scholars are all familiar with many of the films directed by Francesco Rosi, one of the auteurs of Italian cinema, no real critical study of I magliari exists. Rosi’s film, it can be argued, may have aroused the uneasiness engendered by all works dealing with facts evoking shameful and humiliating times. The same is true for Trupia’s film. Even though his Itaker. Vietato agli italiani is set in the sixties, it cannot prescind from the reality of contemporary Italian emigration to Germany and Italy’s economic and political crisis. Bringing attention to Rosi and Trupia’s film seems to be a valid way to rekindle the interest in Italian emigration to Germany, a phenomenon that has contributed to the economic, social and cultural history of both Italy and Germany.

Keywords: Film, History, Germany, Italian emigration

Procedia PDF Downloads 165