Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

First Advisor

Kinzer, Bruce


The nineteenth century unification of the Italian peninsula, was borne of confused and contradictory ideals. The first decades of the Italian nation were characterized by deep social and political schisms that proved troublesome for later nationalists in the twentieth century. These divisive cultural dilemmas arose nearly in conjunction with the development of the Italian film industry. This project approaches the political function of state-funded Risorgimento films, focusing on Filoteo Alberini‰Ûªs La presa di Roma, the first Italian feature ever produced, and Alessandro Blasetti‰Ûªs 1860, an historical epic deeply rooted in fascist historiography. Both films, under the influence of their respective regimes, present a unified view of the Risorgimento contrasting with its divisive inception. The effect of the historical manipulations proliferated by these films was far-reaching, corrupting the popular understanding of the nationalizing event among the Italian people. This is illustrated by the mass outcry which met the first major Risorgimento film produced from outside the influence of the Italian government, Luchino Visconti‰Ûªs Senso, a film that presents an unblinking, depoliticized view of the movement‰Ûªs corruptions and betrayals.


Includes bibliographical references (p. 87-89)

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