The History of the Risorgimento

Italian Flag 1946
 
Garibaldi and the Mille
Garibaldi and His Men
Italian Flag 1946
 

A Film/Lecture Series
at the
Casa Italiana,
Nazareth College of Rochester, NY


The Risorgimento, which is what the Italians call the Reunification of Italy, was the result of the nationalist propaganda of Mazzini, the political opportunism of Cavour, and the military inspiration and leadership of Garibaldi. When it was over, an Italy that had been divided into several states controlled by other European powers, petty dynasties, and the Pope, was politically united under Piedmont and the House of Savoy -- to the astonishment of Mazzini, Cavour, and Garibaldi.
  
Mazzini
Mazzini
  
Cavour
Cavour
  
Garibaldi
Garibaldi


Our fall film/lecture series will provide a glimpse into this fascinating diplomatic and military coup through a series of lectures and films which deal with some aspects of the Risorgimento and provide a sense of the spirit and times in which it took place. Join us for this series of enlightening Sunday afternoons at 3:00 p.m. in the Casa Italiana.

All films are free of charge, open to the public, and dedicated to an appreciation of Italian Language and Culture through Film.

Dr. Italo Savella presented an overview of the History of the Risorgimento before the first film in the series, "1860". He has generously made his notes available   here   .

Notes for "Viva L'Italia" include a map of Italy in 1860 and are available   here   .

Notes for "Il Gattopardo" are available   here   .

Notes for "Bronte" are available   here   .

Notes for "Senso" are available   here   .

Notes for "In Nome Del Papa Re" are available   here   .

History References are available   here

  
1860
1860
  
1860   (1934)   Directed by Alessandro Blasetti

Sunday, September 22, 2002
In Italian with English subtitles  (72 min.)

Before this film, Dr. Italo Savella will provide an overview of the Risorgimento and the history of the period.

1860 presents an image of Garibaldi's landing on Sicily through the eyes of simple, ordinary Sicilian partisans. With attention to linguistic detail, Blasetti uses non-professional, Sicilian speakers. The mix of Sicilian, Italian, German, and French recalls the foreign domination opposed by Garibaldi and his force of 1000, which landed at Marsala and subsequently defeated the Bourbons at Calatafimi.

Dr. Savella's Notes on the film are here .

Additional information on 1860 may be found here .


  
1860
Viva L'Italia
  
Viva L'Italia   (1960)   [Garibaldi]
Directed by Roberto Rossellini


Sunday, September 29 , 2002  
In Italian (no subtitles)   (123 min.)

Viva L'Italia is a tribute to the 100th anniversary of Garibaldi's campaign through Sicily and up the coast to Naples. It begins with plans for the campaign and follows Garibaldi until he turns over the Kingdom of Two Sicilies to King Vittorio Emanuele II of Piedmont. An excellent film, it is the only one that treats Garibaldi as an individual and provides some insight into his character.

My notes for this film are   here .

Additional information on Viva L'Italia may be found here .



  
1860
Il Gattopardo
  
Il Gattopardo   (1963)   [The Leopard]
Directed by Luchino Visconti


Sunday, October 13, 2002  
In Italian with English subtitles   (192 min.)
OR dubbed in English   (162 min.)
(depending upon availability)

Il Gattopardo is a classic based upon the novel of the same name by Giuseppe Tomasi Di Lampedusa. It presents the Risorgimento through the eyes of Don Fabrizio, the Prince of Salina, a landed aristocrat played magnificently by Burt Lancaster.

The aristocracy must choose between the Bourbons and the old feudal system; the House of Savoy and the emerging middle class. While Don Fabrizio contemplates both the end of his life and his way of life, his ambitious young nephew joins the Garibaldini and then the Italian army to become a part of the new order.

Visconti often follows cultural change through a study of an individual or family. Il Gattopardo is the Italian "Gone With The Wind".

My notes for this film are   here .

Additional information on Il Gattopardo may be found here .



  
1860
Bronte
  
Bronte: Cronaca Di Un Massacro Che I Libri Di Storia Non Hanno Raccontato   (1972)  
[Bronte: The Chronicle of a Massacre Which the History Books Have Not Told]
Directed by Florestano Vancini


Sunday, October 20, 2002  
In Italian (no subtitles)   (109 min.)

After the liberation of Sicily by Garibaldi, the population of Bronte, a small paese near Etna, sought a popular autonomous government. The Sicilian contadini (peasants) wanted neither the Bourbons nor the House of Savoy. Nino Bixio was sent by Garibaldi to quel this insubordination to the new power and violently suppressed the revolt.

Bronte will be preceded by a taped 5 minute RAI interview about the film with Florestano Vancini.

Dr. Savella's notes for this film are   here .

Additional information on Bronte may be found here .



  
1860
Senso
  
Senso   (1954)  
[Livia, the Wanton Countess]
Directed by Luchino Visconti


Sunday, November 10, 2002  
In Italian with English subtitles   (117 min.)

Senso takes place in Venice during the spring of 1866 in the last days of the Austrian occupation. A performance of Il Trovatore ends in an anti-Austrian demonstration, organized by Count Ussoni. His cousin, Countess Serpieri, falls in love with the Austrian Lieutenant Franz Mahler. We follow Mahler, a strikingly elegant Austrian officer, through desertion, drunkeness, and living in squalor with a prostitute on money supplied by the Countess. His decay symbolizes the fate of the Austrians in Italy. Visconti again follows cultural change through a study of an individual or family.

Dr. Savella's notes for this film are   here .

Additional information on Senso may be found here .



  
In Nome Del Papa Re
In Nome Del Papa Re
  
In Nome Del Papa Re   (1977)  
[In the Name of the Pope King]
Directed by Luigi Magni


Sunday, November 17, 2002  
In Italian with English subtitles   (115 min.)

This film is set in 1867, with revolution and Garibaldi's forces close to bringing Rome into the Italian Kingdom. Monsignor Colombo da Priverno (portrayed by Nino Manfredi in an outstanding performance), a world-weary judge on the papal court, wants to resign. He is disgusted by the violence employed by the papacy to maintain secular power. "Open up in the name of the pope king" is the command of the pope's forces, seeking entry into homes and a chilling reminder of the pope's temporal power.
Following a rebel bombing, the Monsignor learns that a brief liaison 19 years earlier produced a son, who is arrested for the bombing. To help the lad and his collaborators, the Monsignor engages in a battle of wits with the court.
The banter between the Monsignor and his house keeper provides delightful comic relief to this serious film.
In the end, the Garibaldini are defeated at Mentana, and it will be several more years before the French support of the pope is distracted by Bismark, and the Italian government completes the Risorgimento with the addition of the Papal States.

My notes for this film are   here .

Additional information on In Nome Del Papa Re may be found here .

  
O Re
'O   Re


  
O' Re
(The King of Naples)
  (1989)  
Directed by Luigi Magni

Sunday, January 19, 2003 at 4:00 PM
In Italian (no subtitles)   (90 min.)

'O Re continues the Risorgimento Theme begun with the Fall 2002 Film Series. Written and directed by Luigi Magni, this film examines the Roman exile of Francis II, the last Bourbon King of the Two Sicilies. This is an interesting character study in which we examine the contrast between Francis II (Giancarlo Giannini) and his wife, Maria Sofia of Austria (Ornella Muti). Francis II is resigned to the end of his reign and his line (having no heir to the throne) while Maria Sofia is determined to restore the Kingdom and leave an heir.

Additional information on 'O Re may be found here .



History References are available   here

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