Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: A return to cinema d'impegno? : cinematic engagements with organized crime in Italy, 1950-2010
Author: Holdaway, Dom
ISNI:       0000 0004 2749 3108
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2013
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis seeks to interrogate the mutual relationship between representations of organized crime and commitment in Italian film (cinema d’impegno). Since the Second World War, images of bandits, mafiosi and criminal rackets have been central to some of the most important political films released, including In nome della legge (Pietro Germi, 1949), Salvatore Giuliano (Francesco Rosi, 1961) and A ciascuno il suo (Elio Petri, 1967). The ‘mafia film’ in Italy thus has a rich heritage of powerfully engaged cinema that remains a far cry from its glamourized international counterpart. Yet this ‘filone’, like cinema d’impegno widely, has suffered from the endemic political apathy that accompanied advance of postmodernity. Drawing on recent scholarship on postmodern impegno, as well as on some of the most important contemporary mafia films that have led critics to announce a ‘return’ to this heritage of engaged cinema, this thesis will interrogate the image of organized crime today and its problematic mimicry of this past. It will employ a historically comparative approach, beginning with an analysis of the important waves of committed cinema in the post-War years. It then turns to the social role of the cinema since the 1990s, when, despite the disintegration of political ‘grand narratives’, the constant renewal of the trauma of organized crime has continued to produce boldly political cinematic denunciations. A secondary aim of the thesis is to bring into question the very notion of impegno. As the discourses that are analysed in the first half show, the Marxist core of many of the political mafia films has led to a narrow understanding of the organized crime imagery. Building on Marxist theorists, from Lukács to Jameson, and extending a better critical appreciation of the spectator, this discussion seeks to bring into focus the importance of genre cinema in the dialectical creation of a political mafia image.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Arts & Humanities Research Council (Great Britain) (AHRC) ; British School at Rome ; University of Warwick
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DG Italy ; PN1993 Motion Pictures