Schooling in Modernity: The Politics of Sponsored Films in Postwar Italy

Schooling in Modernity: The Politics of Sponsored Films in Postwar Italy

by Paola Bonifazio

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Between 1948 and the end of the 1950s, Italian and American government agencies and corporations commissioned hundreds of short films for domestic and foreign consumption on topics such as the fight against unemployment, the transformation of rural and urban spaces, and the re-establishment of democratic regimes in Italy and throughout Europe. In Schooling in Modernity, Paola Bonifazio investigates the ways in which these sponsored films promoted a particular vision of modernization and industry and functioned as tools to govern the Italian people.

The author uses extensive archival research and various theoretical approaches to examine the politics of sponsored filmmaking in postwar Italy. Among the many topics explored are target audiences and audience response, sources of funding, censorship, debates on cinematic realism, and the connections and differences between American and Italian strategies and styles of documentary filmmaking. Insightful and richly detailed, Schooling in Modernity shows the importance of these under-appreciated films in the postwar modernization process, the transition from Fascism to democracy, and Italy’s involvement in the Cold War.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442669482
Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Publication date: 05/27/2014
Series: Toronto Italian Studies
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
File size: 8 MB

About the Author

Paola Bonifazio is an assistant professor in the Department of French and Italian at the University of Texas at Austin.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Work, Welfare, Neorealism
Chapter 2: Sneaky Sponsors
Chapter 3: Filming the Housing Revolution
Chapter 4: South Like North
Chapter 5: United Europe Starts in School
Chapter 6: Histories Through Tabloids


What People are Saying About This

Luca Caminati

“This is a wonderful book that will have a long-lasting impact on Italian cinema as it moves towards the study of cinematic cultures. Based on rare and difficult-to-access materials from minor and previously inaccessible archives, Schooling in Modernity is the first book to address this important body of films.”

Christopher Duggan

Schooling in Modernity is an interesting and sophisticated work that makes use of a hitherto little known body of material: the hundreds of short films that were made by Italian and American state and non-state sponsors from the late 1940s to the late 1950s. Thorough and analytically rich, this book is a valuable contribution to the history of Italian cinema.”

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