The invisibility of racism: on the reception of Giovanni Vento's Il Nero and Antonio Campobasso's Nero di Puglia, 1967-1982

Silvana Patriarca
2018 Modern Italy  
This essay explores attitudes towards home-grown anti-black racism in Italy from the 1960s to the early1980s by focusing on the reception of Giovanni Vento's Il Nero, a 1965 film that depicts the everyday lives of two biracial Italians born at the end of the Second World War from encounters between Italian women and non-white Allied soldiers, and of Antonio Campobasso's Nero di Puglia, a partly autobiographical book by one of these biracial Italians, published in 1980. Campobasso's powerful
more » ... , which denounced the hypocrisies of the Republic, received some acknowledgement in the intellectual community, but the lenses that the cultural critics used to interpret the text impeded a foregrounding of the racism that the book denounced. Giovanni Vento's innovative film, on the other hand, did not even reach the commercial circuit and was also interpreted in leftist circles through a political and aesthetic paradigm that downplayed the specificity of anti-black racism. The article invites a reflection on the legacy that these attitudes have had in shaping the limited sensitivity to racism in contemporary Italy.
doi:10.1017/mit.2018.31 fatcat:ytdrlriyi5hynjryufezco2kha