At war with history. Mafia in movies and other tales
This essay deals with the relations between cinema and history in a case study: the film In guerra per amore (2016) by the Italian director Pif (Pier Francesco Diliberto). The film is about the Anglo-American occupation of Sicily during the second world war and it validates an old stereotype of the Italian tradition: Siculo-American mafia helped the USA Army to win the battle to land in Sicily and later it helped American officers to administrate the island. In this way the mafia revived in Sicily in the post war. This tradition is not confirmed by historians, but it is very popular on mass medias and nowadays on social networks. The power of social networks, in fact, increases the circulation of myths and false news. The essay provides an information for a correct historical reconstruction; in the second part the essay searches out the origin of the incorrect tales on relations between mafia and the American Army and it tells about three different moments. The first is contemporary with the battle for Sicily in 1943. In this case, fascist hierarchs explain the defeat according to the paradigm of the treason and, so, the mafia becomes a sort of fifth column. The second step is the age of the peasant struggles during the post war, when mafia became the enemy of peasants’ movement. The third step is the context of the Cold war, when left parties indicate in an American conspiracy of 1943 the source of the power bloc between Cristian Democrats party and mafia.
Keywords: History; Cinema; Mafia; War; Politics; Conspiracy thinking.