Conflicts of Memory: The Reception of Holocaust Films and TV Programmes in Italy: 1945 to the Present

Research output: Book/ReportBookResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Situated at the confluence of history, media and cultural studies, this book reconstructs the often deeply discordant and highly selective memories of the Holocaust in Italy in the postwar era. The author’s core method is one of reception analysis, centred on the public responses to the many films and television programmes that have addressed the Holocaust from the 1940s to the present day.
Tied to the heritage of Fascism, antifascism, and the Resistance, public memory of the Holocaust in Italy has changed greatly over the years. Self-acquitting myths of Italian innocence and victimhood, and universalising interpretations grounded in Catholicism and Communism, provided the initial frameworks for understanding the Holocaust. However, the last two decades have seen an increasing centrality of the Holocaust in memory culture but have also witnessed the establishment of a paradigm that relativises other fascist crimes and levels the differences between Fascism and antifascism. Working with the largest corpus yet established of Holocaust film and television in Italy, from the 1948 retelling of the Wandering Jew myth to Roberto Benigni’s controversial Life Is
Beautiful, from the American miniseries Holocaust to Perlasca: The Courage of a Just Man, Conflicts of Memory probes Italy’s ongoing, if incomplete, process of coming to terms with this important aspect of its past.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
Number of pages291
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-0353-0039-0
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2010

Publication series

NameItalian Modernities
PublisherPeter Lang
Volume8
ISSN (Print)1662-9108

Keywords

  • History
  • Holocaust Studies
  • European History
  • Cultural History
  • Film Studies
  • Television Studies
  • Italian (European History)
  • Italian Studies
  • History and Memory
  • Memory Studies

Cite this

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abstract = "Situated at the confluence of history, media and cultural studies, this book reconstructs the often deeply discordant and highly selective memories of the Holocaust in Italy in the postwar era. The author’s core method is one of reception analysis, centred on the public responses to the many films and television programmes that have addressed the Holocaust from the 1940s to the present day.Tied to the heritage of Fascism, antifascism, and the Resistance, public memory of the Holocaust in Italy has changed greatly over the years. Self-acquitting myths of Italian innocence and victimhood, and universalising interpretations grounded in Catholicism and Communism, provided the initial frameworks for understanding the Holocaust. However, the last two decades have seen an increasing centrality of the Holocaust in memory culture but have also witnessed the establishment of a paradigm that relativises other fascist crimes and levels the differences between Fascism and antifascism. Working with the largest corpus yet established of Holocaust film and television in Italy, from the 1948 retelling of the Wandering Jew myth to Roberto Benigni’s controversial Life IsBeautiful, from the American miniseries Holocaust to Perlasca: The Courage of a Just Man, Conflicts of Memory probes Italy’s ongoing, if incomplete, process of coming to terms with this important aspect of its past.",
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Conflicts of Memory : The Reception of Holocaust Films and TV Programmes in Italy: 1945 to the Present. / Perra, Emiliano.

Oxford, 2010. 291 p. (Italian Modernities; Vol. 8).

Research output: Book/ReportBookResearchpeer-review

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