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The Sight and Sound of Albanian Migration in Contemporary Italian Cinema

Duncan, Derec 2007. The Sight and Sound of Albanian Migration in Contemporary Italian Cinema. New Readings 8 , pp. 1-15. 10.18573/newreadings.57

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With particular reference of Gianni Amelio’s Lamerica (1994) and Ennio De Dominicis’s L’Italiano (2001), this article looks at a number of recent Italian films that ostensibly deal with migration from Albania to Italy in the 1990s. I argue that these films use migration as a means of exploring the nation’s past history of colonial expansion and emigration rather than documenting a current socio-cultural phenomenon. The article begins by analyzing these films in terms of the constitutive role afforded to cinema in the construction of Italian national identity. It then goes on to examine how Italy’s historical relationship with Albania is recalled in ambivalent terms. This ambivalence is projected onto the bodies of the Albanian migrant whose alterity these films construct through an insistence on an essential cultural and physiological difference. The article explores the various strategies that these films employ to remind the spectator of the irreconcilable difference between Italians and Albanians. The avowed humanitarian intentions of these films are compromised by their insistence on the impermeablity of Italian identity.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Modern Languages
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DG Italy
D History General and Old World > DR Balkan Peninsula
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
Publisher: Cardiff University Press
ISSN: 1359-7485
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 17 January 2020
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2020 11:47

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