Maurizio Zinni, “The Shape of Politics: The Debate over Fascism in Left-Wing Cinematographic Culture from the End of the War to the 1970’s”

Abstract: This article aims to analyse the factors that guided left-wing film criticism in dealing with the representation of Fascism on the big screen. The article takes into account contemporary and later reviews in the main party newspapers (l’Unità, Avanti!, Rinascita), and in film magazines gravitating around the more or less traditional left-wing press (Cinema nuovo, Cinemasessanta, Film rivista, La critica cinematografica). It seeks to identify interpretative keys that guided judgments, evaluating how much a critic’s personal politics influenced stylistic evaluations and their evolution over time. This will make it possible to categorise the existence or otherwise of a representative canon shared by various branches of the Left, as well as to identify the political and, in some ways, propaganda value this blossoming journalistic genre came to have in Cold War Italy.
Key Words: left-wing criticism, representation of Fascism, anti-Fascism, Cold War, Neorealism, Italian satire, protest, Reconstruction.