Italian cinema is one of this country's postwar success stories; the memory of Fascism one of its ongoing challenges. This book proposes to read these two stories together, looking at the treatment of Benito Mussolini's dictatorship in a series of works by Italian filmmakers. The work of Italian directors has much to tell us about the ways in which the memory of the Italian dictatorship was processed by postwar society.
The focus is on the 1970s, when a climate of political instability made fascism a theme charged with contemporary relevance for postwar society. Luchino Visconti, Federico Fellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Bernado Bertolucci were among the directors whose films participated in the re-evaluation of the years of dictatorship in the wake of the late 1960s. These films returned to a historical period which had been elided from collective memory, at a time when fascism and antifascism were also key terms in the political debate. The work of these filmmakers is revealing not only for what it tells us about postwar perceptions of Fascism, but the ways in which democratic society and its values were defined in opposition to the memory of Mussolini's rule.