This chapter investigates how Italian nonfiction cinema portrayed Basilicata during the post–World War II years, paying special attention to the dynamics between inside and outside as a key aesthetic factor in understanding the image of the region. During the 1950s, the Lucanian cinematic landscape, devoid of any recognizable landmarks when compared to other regions of the South, gained the special status of an archaic and mysterious world. In the wake of Carlo Levi’s Christ Stopped at Eboli (1947) and the research conducted by Ernesto de Martino, many artists and documentarists visited the area in order to grasp its secrets, making the interpenetration of internal and external a recurring trope in representing public and private activities. The main argument of the chapter is that in films like Michele Gandin’s Cristo non si è fermato a Eboli (Christ Did Not Stopped at Eboli, 1952), and in many other documentaries such as L’Italia non è un paese povero (Italy Is Not a Poor Country, Ivens 1960), towns like Matera and its surrounding areas have frequently been described as highlighting the unique connection joining inside and outside, as well as chronotopes, such as the road and the threshold. Many photographers working in Basilicata at that time approached the Southern landscape in the same way: in particular, ethnographic photography and photojournalism have represented a visual language deeply affecting the style of Italian documentaries and, more generally, neorealist aesthetics since the end of the 1940s.

Basilicata Inside and Outside. Lucanian Landscape and Postwar Nonfiction Cinema

Massimiliano Gaudiosi
2022

Abstract

This chapter investigates how Italian nonfiction cinema portrayed Basilicata during the post–World War II years, paying special attention to the dynamics between inside and outside as a key aesthetic factor in understanding the image of the region. During the 1950s, the Lucanian cinematic landscape, devoid of any recognizable landmarks when compared to other regions of the South, gained the special status of an archaic and mysterious world. In the wake of Carlo Levi’s Christ Stopped at Eboli (1947) and the research conducted by Ernesto de Martino, many artists and documentarists visited the area in order to grasp its secrets, making the interpenetration of internal and external a recurring trope in representing public and private activities. The main argument of the chapter is that in films like Michele Gandin’s Cristo non si è fermato a Eboli (Christ Did Not Stopped at Eboli, 1952), and in many other documentaries such as L’Italia non è un paese povero (Italy Is Not a Poor Country, Ivens 1960), towns like Matera and its surrounding areas have frequently been described as highlighting the unique connection joining inside and outside, as well as chronotopes, such as the road and the threshold. Many photographers working in Basilicata at that time approached the Southern landscape in the same way: in particular, ethnographic photography and photojournalism have represented a visual language deeply affecting the style of Italian documentaries and, more generally, neorealist aesthetics since the end of the 1940s.
3031135725
Italian documentaries, Interior/exterior relation, Cristo non si è fermato a Eboli, Photojournalism
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12570/29277
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