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The Representation of Fascism and the Resistance in the Documentaries of Italian State Television

  • Guido Crainz

Abstract

Until relatively recent times, in its analysis of the history of Fascism, Italian scholarship has concentrated most on the years of the Fascist rise to power 2015/10/7and those of its final crisis (1943–45). It has shown far less interest in the record of the regime in office, that ‘time of consensus’, as Renzo De Felice has baptised it, in a controversial but as yet largely uncontested interpretation.1 In regard to television documentaries, this tendency is still more pronounced, with the focus being very much fixed on 1943–45,2 despite the screening in 1972 of Nascita di una dittatura (Birth of a Dictatorship), one of RAI’s major programmes. This documentary was directed by Sergio Zavoli, a television journalist and not a historian who, in the 1980s, would rise to the presidency of RAI.

Keywords

Socialist Party Italian Root Critical Sense Liberal Democrat Historical Documentary 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Some of the problems with the De Felicean view are examined well in E. Collotti, Fascismo, fascismi, Florence, 1989; cf. also N. Tranfaglia, Un passato scomodo. Fascismo e postfascismo, Bari, 1996.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    For a general analysis, see G. Crainz, A. Farassino, E. Forcella and N. Gallerano, La Resistenza italiana nei programma della RAI, Rome, 1996. The book comes with an attached disk containing a database of radio and television programmes up to the end of 1995.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    The two best histories of the Republic are P. Ginsborg,A History of Contemporary Italy: Society and Politics 1943–1988, Harmondsworth, 1990Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    S. Lanaro, Storia dell’Italia repubblicana, Venice, 1992.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    See, generally, G. Quazza, Resistenza e storia d’Italia, Milan, 1976.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    For a convincing review, see N. Gallerano, ‘Critica e crisi del paradigma antifascista’, in Fascismo e antifascismo negli anni della repubblica, special issue of Problemi del socialismo, 7, 1986, pp. 106–33.Google Scholar
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    R. Battaglia, Storia della Resistenza italiana, Turin, 1953 (rev. edn, 1964).Google Scholar
  8. 20.
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  9. 20.
    U. Segre, ‘Una grande lacuna nella scuola’, Il Giorno, 2 December 1960.Google Scholar
  10. 21.
    See, for example, C. Cesa, ‘Un convegno su scuola e Resistenza a Firenze’, Belfagor, 31 May 1965Google Scholar
  11. 21.
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  12. 25.
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  13. 32.
    See, for example, the assessment of the programme by A. Grasso, Storia della televisione italiana, Milan, 1992, p. 280.Google Scholar
  14. 33.
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    R. De Felice, Intervista sul fascismo, Bari, 1975 (rev. edn, 1997); it is available in English asGoogle Scholar
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  19. 40.
    For a later analysis of what went on there, see M. Dondi, ’Piazzale Loreto 29 Aprile: aspetti di una pubblica esposizione’, Rivista di storia contemporanea, 18, 1990, pp. 219–48.Google Scholar
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  21. 43.
    More than 300000 people attended the latter, widely advertised both in schools and in the newspapers. It was deliberately arranged to combine entertainment with ‘objectivity’. De Felice acted as the key historical editor. The message to the masses was thus a combination of a ‘revival’ and a reconciliation with the past even if it was Fascist. For comments, see T. Mason, ‘Il fascismo “Made in Italy”’, Italia contemporanea, 158, 1985, pp. 5–32 (its English version is T. Mason, ‘The Great Economic History Show’, History Workshop, 21, 1986, pp. 3–35).Google Scholar
  22. 43.
    Cf. also G. Crainz, ‘Il fascismo al Colosseo’, Rivista di storia contemporanea, 13, 1985, pp. 127–35.Google Scholar
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  24. 48.
    P. Ortoleva, ‘Raccontare la storia nell’epoca dei mass media’, in G. De Luna (ed.), Insegnaregli ultimi cinquant’anni. Riflessioni su identità e metodi della storia contemporanea, Florence, 1992, pp. 53–72.Google Scholar
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    For a critical reading, see G. De Luna, L’occhio e l’orecchio storico, Florence, 1993, pp. 97–138.Google Scholar
  26. 51.
    B. Spinelli, ‘La TV e l’Italia malata’, La Stampa, 8 April 1994.Google Scholar
  27. 53.
    For example, see G. Chiesa and G. De Luna’s ‘25 aprile. La memoria inquieta’ of 24 April 1995.Google Scholar
  28. 56.
    N. Gallerano (ed.), L’uso pubblico della storia, Milan, 1995.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guido Crainz

There are no affiliations available

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