Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Ethnic Audiences and Film Culture : Italian Immigrants, Cultural Identity, and the Distribution of Italian Films in London at the Beginning of the 20th Century
Author: Ercole, Pierluigi
ISNI:       0000 0004 2686 4907
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2008
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
This thesis examines the relationship between Italian immigrants and cinema in early twentieth century London. Through an investigation into a variety of both primary and secondary sources, I retrace the journey of migrant people and of moving images from Italy to the British capital. The aim of this study is to examine how the cultural identity of London's Italian community was constructed between 1890 and 1918 and the place of cinema within this process. The research engages with a series of questions that are linked to the notion that cinema's social role and the access of Italians to and involvement in cinema is better determined by first defining the immigrant community both culturally and historically. A discussion of the representations of, and discourses circulating about, Italians and Italian-ness, and the relative availability of cinematic images produced in or depicting Italy, permit further hypotheses about the response of the colony to moving images. The study of a very particular audience and the context in which it was situated, therefore allows me to explore a complex set of cultural and social histories. As such, the histories of emigration, film production, distribution and exhibition, and film culture more generally developed in this thesis inform a thoroughly contextual understanding of the relation between the 'Little Italians' and the cinema. In its conclusions the thesis reveals that, among London's Italian community, the formation of a sense of national identity and of a sense of belonging, whether to the country of origin or to the country of destination, remained problematic, even contested. It was elite groups above all that promoted a strong sense of national affiliation and identity, which was rather different to the experiences and allegiances of the working class members of the immigrant community. In this sense, my thesis argues that the importance of the cinema in the cultural life of the London's Italian colony was principally a result of the use made of it by the upper/middle-class immigrant elite during wartime.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available