Executive producers, Roberto Cicutto, Vincenzo De Leo. Directed, written by Nicola Caracciolo, Valerio E. Marino; editor, Angela Monfortese; music, Benedetto Ghiglia; music adviser, Gianni Borgna; sound, Adriano Torbidone. Reviewed at Greenwich Cinema, Rome, March 10, 1994. Running time: 87 MIN.
Narrator: Oreste Rizzini.
“Italy After the War” is a whirlwind chronicle of the
bel paese, 1945-48. Assembled entirely from cine-newsreels and footage from Istituto Luce and the Historical Archive of the Workers’ Movement, this dense diet of political, social and cultural tidbits should intrigue historians and Italophiles via exposure on specialist webs.
In their 1991 docu “The 600 Days of Salo,” former Luce film archive conservator Valerio E. Marino and political-historical journalist and filmmaker Nicola Caracciolo depicted the short-lived fascist puppet republic set up by Benito Mussolini at the end of World War II. Here they document Italy in the devastated aftermath of war, its deliverance from fascism, abandonment of the monarchy and transition to a democratic republic.
Power divisions between the state, church and Mafia, festering North-South antagonism, shifts between the political right and left, and the emergence from chaos of a new moralism that empowers the Vatican all have ’90s relevance, even if commentary is light on analysis.
Italy’s then-burgeoning film industry is mentioned only fleetingly in snippets showing Silvana Mangano, Lucia Bose and a crooning Vittorio De Sica. But buffs will recognize a font of inspiration for Fellini in street performers and traveling circus acts, and food for the neo-realists in the forlorn urchins on view.
Footage used is mostly in immaculate condition, though the selection often appears disjointed.