Luca Peretti, “‘Purché ne salvi lo spirito.’ Tempo di uccidere, Made and Unmade Films”

Abstract: Ennio Flaiano’s novel Tempo di uccidere (1947) immediately caught the attention of the filmmakers of the time. The first attempts to make a film based on it date back to the 1950s and include a project with Jules Dassin as director and another which was supposed to be filmed in Somalia. The film was then in preproduction with Twenty Century Fox’s Darryl F. Zanuck, and different Italian directors and producers (including Francesco Rosi and Turi Vasile) wanted to adapt Flaiano’s novel. Several other unsuccessful attempts would follow until the second half of the 1980s when, in a completely different cultural and political context, Tempo di uccidere (Giuliano Montaldo, 1989) was finally made. The production histories of the films (made and unmade) based on Tempo di uccidere show the complex heritage of colonialism in postwar Italy and its complicated relationship with the former colonies.
Key Words: colonialism, Italian cinema, Fascism, Giuliano Montaldo, Tempo di uccidere, Ennio Flaiano, Africa.