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The "Betrayed Resistance" in Valentino Orsini’s Corbari (1970) and Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1900 (1976)
- Author(s): Gavin, Dominic
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.5070/C352023292
Italian public discourse over national memory and identity often turns on the issue of ‘divided memories.’ Here I focus on a subset of this problematic issue, the contestation over the legacy of the Resistance in the 1970s. Within this context, the films Corbari (Valentino Orsini, 1970) and 1900 (Novecento, Bernardo Bertolucci, 1976) offer differing responses to challenges posed to the Resistance myth by the post-1968 social movements. Comparison of these two films highlights some of the difficulties facing filmmakers and the left in general in the 1970s in addressing the Resistance’s achievements, or limited outcomes. Some of the topics dealt with in this article include antifascism as a figure of national identity (reflected in the attempt of these filmmakers to provide popular epics of the partisan war) and the troubled connections between the memory of the Resistance and terrorism in the 1970s. Making use of recent work on Italian cinema and terrorism, as well as public memory and antifascism, I consider how these films address the problematic status of Resistance memory in their own time, as well as what they reveal for longer-term commemoration or memory of the partisan war.