Film Archive

Propaganda cinema

Research, cataloguing and online access

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1946-1975: Italian Political Communication Through Film

Directors, screenwriters, cameramen and celebrity spokesmen, from Bertolucci to Eduardo De Filippo, via Franchi and Ingrassia, Gregoretti, Lizzani, Maselli, Modugno, Pontecorvo, Scola, Sonego and the Taviani brothers. A look at some of the big names in Italian cinema who have contributed to the tradition of Italian propaganda gives an idea of how film became one of the most important political communication tools in post-war Italy.

Propaganda's Mass Screens

A popular instrument for winning over the masses, many propaganda films were produced by the big popular parties (the Christian Democrats and the Italian Communists) that animated 20th-century Italian politics. This extraordinary body of work offers us a valuable resource for understanding a key period in Italy's history. But it's also a chance to rediscover a genre that deserves to be reassessed within the history of cinema, with many of the clips showing unexpected filmic quality.

Access for All

Based on these reflections, the Cineteca di Bologna, the Workers and Democratic Movement's Audiovisual Archive, the Emilia-Romagna Gramsci Institute and the Luigi Sturzo Institute have launched a project of researching, cataloguing, studying and making available online all the propaganda films produced by the two main Italian parties from 1945 to 1975 and other political groupings which have marked the history of republican Italy. These films, until recently only partially accessible through archives or private collections, are now available to all students, academics and experts as well as the simply curious.

This project has been made possible by the support of the Cinema Department of the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage.