Lorenzo Fabbri, “Archives of Fascist Obscenities and Insurgent Futurities: The Shadow King, Giorni di gloria, and All’armi siam fascisti!”

Abstract: Informed by discussions on the entanglement between processes of memorialization and force relations, between power and the archive, here I analyze how the 1945 documentary Giorni di gloria weaponizes the experiential and affective affordances of technical reproducibility to challenge hegemonic ways of feeling about Italian Fascism. Through its disruptive intervention, I argue, this compilation film by Mario Serandrei, Luchino Visconti, Giuseppe De Santis, and Marcello Pagliero compels truly transformative engagements with Italy’s obscene history, engagements that favor the emergence of more radical iterations of Italian futurity. In the introduction and coda of this essay, I relate Giorni di gloria’s counter-archival efforts with the workings of two other labors of memory recompilation: The Shadow King, a 2019 novel by Maaza Mengiste, and All’armi siam fascisti!, a 1962 compilation documentary by Cecilia Mangini, Lino Del Fra, and Lino Miccichè.
Key Words: public memory, archive, film&media, resistance, Fascism, critical fabulation, hegemony, populism, Italian cinema, neorealism, documentary, compilation film.