Valentina Geri, “The Deconstruction of the italiani brava gente Myth in Dino Risi’s La marcia su Roma (1962)”

Abstract: Dino Risi’s La marcia su Roma is a film that aims to reflect on the socio-historical context that led Fascism to secure political power in Italy. The film was shot in 1962, two years after the newly elected Christian Democrat Tambroni government accepted the political support of the Movimento Sociale Italiano (a neo-Fascist party) to form a majority in Parliament. Set between 1919 and 1922, the years when the Fascist political party started to take shape, La marcia su Roma reflects on Italians’ compliant attitude toward Fascism, both in the early 1920s, the time of the Fascist rise to power, and in the early 1960s, the present historical time of Risi’s film. The film narrates the story of two ordinary men, Domenico Rocchetti (Vittorio Gassman) and Umberto Gavazza (Ugo Tognazzi), who, for different reasons, and out of no real political conviction, decide to join the camicie nere to march on Rome. La marcia su Roma ironically attempts to deconstruct the italiani brava gente myth by holding as responsible those Italians who, even lacking commitment to Fascism, were nonetheless compliant with it and therefore directly or indirectly contributed to the establishment of the Fascist regime.
Keywords: Dino Risi, La marcia su Roma, italiani brava gente, Fascism, The march on Rome, Fernando Tambroni, Vittorio Gassman, Ugo Tognazzi.