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The Historical UncannyDisability, Ethnicity, and the Politics of Holocaust Memory$
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Susanne C. Knittel

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823262786

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823262786.001.0001

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A Severed Branch

A Severed Branch

The Memory of Fascism on Stage and Screen

(p.217) Chapter Six A Severed Branch
The Historical Uncanny

Susanne C. Knittel

Fordham University Press

This chapter is divided into two parts. The first offers an analysis of two television productions, Perlasca—un eroe italiano (2002) and Il cuore nel pozzo (2005), both directed by Alberto Negrin. These hugely successful television dramas center on “good,” heroic Italians, struggling to save the lives of innocents from the Nazi occupiers and the Yugoslav Communist partisans, respectively. The chapter examines how the narrative of Italian heroism, innocence, and victimhood during World War II propagated and consolidated by these films contributes to the ongoing rehabilitation of Fascism in Italy today. In the second part, the chapter examines how documentary theater presents a challenge to this revisionist trend, focusing on two plays that take up the memory of the Risiera di San Sabba: Rižarna (1975) by Filibert Benedetič and Miroslav Košuta, and I me ciamava per nome: 44.787 (1995) by Renato Sarti. This is the first time either of these plays has been the subject of critical analysis. As their reception shows, these plays present a counter-narrative to the auto-exculpation and self-victimization seen on television and at the memorials discussed in chapter 5.

Keywords:   Television, Documentary theater, Giorgio Perlasca, Alberto Negrin, Risiera di San Sabba

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