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The Role of Documentary Film in the Formation of the Neorealist Cinema

The Role of Documentary Film in the Formation of the Neorealist Cinema

Chapter:
(p.52) The Role of Documentary Film in the Formation of the Neorealist Cinema
Source:
Global Neorealism
Author(s):
Luca Caminati
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781617031229.003.0004

This chapter examines the historical connections between the rise of the documentary in the 1920s–30s; its reception in Italy, and its effects on both critical discourse and filmmaking practices; and the formation of neorealism. It first looks at the ideological and political implications of the post-facto narrative of the genesis of neorealism as a way of re-creating a nationalist historiography of cinema. The chapter then determines the alternative genealogies of neorealism by reconstructing the historical connections between fiction and nonfiction filmmaking in Italy in the 1930s; the emergence of Italian documentary filmmaking and the Istituto LUCE; and the larger international history of prewar documentary cinema and its impact on the stylistic changes in fiction films of that period.

Keywords:   Italian cinema, neorealism, documentaries, Italy, filmmaking, documentary cinema

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