From Rossellini to Visconti. Cinema and the Risorgimento
in the years of the «economic miracle»
The Italian films on the Risorgimento are No more than thirty and only very few of them are really significant. During the years of the «Italian economic miracle» (1958-63) four films were produced which are worth mentioning: Viva l’Italia (Rossellini, 1960), Vanina Vanini (Rossellini, 1961), I briganti italiani (Camerini, 1961), Il Gattopardo (Visconti, 1962). Putting aside Vanina Vanini, which was a failure and was disowned by its same director, Viva l’Italia and I briganti italiani were much influenced by the climate of the period which coincided with the celebrations of the Unity of Italy (1961). An atmosphere of optimism, which emphasized how welfare was the result of the unification reached one hundred years earlier with such a big effort. Different speech for Il Gattopardo, which presents a critical view of the Risorgimento seen as «a failed or rather betrayed revolution» (as Visconti himself once stated).