PhDs

BANCA DATI DELLE TESI DI DOTTORATO IN CINEMA, FOTOGRAFIA, TELEVISIONE
DATA BASE OF PhD DISSERTATIONS IN CINEMA, PHOTOGRAPHY AND TELEVISION
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Narrare la modernizzazione: documentari della Guerra Fredda (1948-1958)
Narrating modernization: documentary films in Cold War Italy (1948-58)

Autore | Author
Paola Bonifazio
pbonifazio@austin.utexas.edu

Corso di dottorato | PhD Program
Italian Studies
New York University
Tutor Ruth Ben-Ghiat
2008

Sinossi | Abstract
My dissertation explores the documentary films produced between 1948 and the mid 1950s for Italian and American Information Agencies and distributed in Italy during the same years. Considering what was said and shown about modernization by means of cinematography in relation to the complex of governmental programs in Cold War Italy, I discuss how these films functioned as a ‘cultural technology of governance,’ producing a system of meaning but also participating in the programs of governing; providing subjects with perceptions of themselves, in relation to others, as well as governing their moral and social behaviors. Shown before feature films, the documentaries I discuss in my dissertation could be indexed as documentaries, presenting the reality as opposed to the fantasy of fictions. On the other hand, many of these films narrate a story; they are clearly staged, and some even use professional actors. Several films could make the viewer laugh, cry, or fear. Therefore, my dissertation explores the relationship between documentary and fiction, the dilemmas of cinematic realism, and the mobilization of affects as a strategy of persuasion in non-fiction films. In particular, I critically investigate the relationship between the films under study and Neorealism. I argue that the documentaries engage with some of the most famous Neorealist films in explicit (or implicit) controversial terms, articulating different narratives on the same backdrop, both in the sense of the social and of the landscape. Four chapters group the films approaching Italy’s post-war modernization from different angles: industrialization, political and economic alliances with other Western European Democracies and the United States, economic, political, social, and cultural homogenization of the North and the South of Italy, and urbanization. I discuss how film could inform what they thought and said about modernization, and how it could take part in the attempts of Italian and American Information Agencies to involve the viewers in the government of themselves and others.

Tesi online | Online repository
http://proquest.umi.com/pqdlink?Ver=1&Exp=10-20-2017&FMT=7&DID=1605114891&RQT=309&attempt=1&cfc=1

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