Center For Italian Modern Art Announces Series Of 10 Rare Italian Film Screenings Tied To Current Exhibition Staging Injustice | Shore Fire Media

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16 February, 2022Print

Center For Italian Modern Art Announces Series Of 10 Rare Italian Film Screenings Tied To Current Exhibition Staging Injustice

Films Explore Immigration, Agrarian Labor, Anarchist And Socialist Class Struggles, Women’s Issues And More

Today, The Center For Italian Modern Art announces a series of ten rare Italian films — some of which have been rarely seen in the US — tied to the institution’s current exhibition, “Staging Injustice: Italian Art 1880-1917.” 

All ten films in the series examine different aspects of the so-called "social question," the series of unsolved socio-economic problems among the lower classes which initially developed in Italy towards the end of the 1800s, and reverberated in Italian cinema throughout the 20th century. Topics include, but are not limited to: immigration, agrarian labor, anarchist and socialist class struggle, and the treatment of women. 

All film screenings will be held in person at CIMA, 421 Broome Street, 4th floor, New York, NY 10013 (see CIMA’s Health & Safety Guidelines here). 

SINGLE FILM TICKETS: General Admission - $10 | CIMA Members - $5 

10-FILM PACKAGE: General Admission - $80 | CIMA Members - $40


Thursday, Feb 17 and Friday, Feb 18 @ 6pm ET:

Novecento. Atto I & II (1900: Part 1-2), directed by Bernardo Bertolucci (1976)

ABOUT: Set in Bertolucci's ancestral region of Emilia, the film chronicles the lives and friendship of two men – the landowning Alfredo Berlinghieri and the peasant Olmo Dalcò– as they witness and participate in the political conflicts between fascism and communism that took place in Italy in the first half of the 20th century. 

*Please note: the film is divided into two parts. The first part will be screened on Feb. 17 at 6pm, and the second part will be screened on Feb. 18 at 6pm.


Thursday, March 3rd @ 6pm ET:

 L'albero degli zoccoli (The Tree of the Wooden Clogs), directed by Ermanno Olmi (1978)

ABOUT: The life inside a farm in Italy at the end of the 19th century. Many poor country families live there, and the owner pays them by their productivity. One of the families has a very clever child. They decide to send him to school instead of making him help them. The boy has to wake up very early and walk several miles to get to the school. One day the boy's shoes break when returning home, but they do not have money to buy another pair. What can they do?


Thursday, March 17th @ 6pm ET:

Riso amaro (Bitter Rice), directed by Giuseppe De Santis (1949)

ABOUT: Francesca and Walter are two-bit criminals in Northern Italy, and, in an effort to avoid the police, Francesca joins a group of women rice workers. She meets the voluptuous peasant rice worker, Silvana, and the soon-to-be-discharged soldier, Marco. Walter follows her to the rice fields, and the four characters become involved in a complex plot involving robbery, love, and murder.

Thursday, March 24th  @ 6pm ET: 

Bronte: cronaca di un massacro che i libri di storia non hanno raccontato (Liberty), directed by Florestano Vancini (1972)


ABOUT: Mid-19th century Sicily is still a quasi-feudal society. Politically, Sicily is part of a large Southern Italian kingdom. The much more prosperous and advanced Northern regions are fighting to bring about the union of the whole Italian peninsula under the Savoy royal family. Garibaldi with a thousand volunteers invades Sicily intending to bring Southern Italy under the Savoy rule. The Sicilian peasants view Garibaldi as the liberator from the tyranny of the landed ruling class rather than the idealistic patriot who wants to bring about Italy's unification. When the news of his imminent arrival reaches the village of Bronte, the peasants revolt, looting the landowners houses and warehouses and killing the most hated member of the ruling class. 


Thursday, April 7th @ 6pm ET

Gli ultimi (The Last Ones), directed by Vito Pandolfi (1963)

ABOUT: Checo, son of poor Friulian farmers, is a young boy different from the others because he is more intelligent, sensitive and gifted with imagination. The comrades isolate him and mock him, giving him the nickname of scarecrows. One day, exasperated, he decided to flee to Venice, with the dream of becoming a painter. When he returned home, began a very difficult period of poverty and hunger for him and his family. Checo will end up reacting by destroying the scarecrow, the nightmare of his childhood, and beginning, as a man, to work with men.


Thursday, April 14th @ 6pm ET:

 I compagni (The Organizer), directed by Mario Monicelli (1963).

ABOUT: The story of exploited textile factory workers in Turin, Italy at the turn of the century and their beginnings of their fight for better working conditions. Professor Sinigaglia is sent by (presumably) the Socialists to help them organize their strike and give form to their struggle.


Thursday, April 28th @ 6pm ET: 

Acciaio (Steel), directed by Walter Ruttmann (1933).

ABOUT: Mario, a cyclist bersagliere, is discharged and returns to his job as a worker at the Terni steelworks, trusting to find and marry Gina, who was his girlfriend. But during his absence, Gina became infatuated with Pietro, also a worker. 


Thursday, May 12th @ 6pm ET:

Rocco e i suoi fratelli (Rocco and His Brothers), directed by Luchino Visconti (1960).

ABOUT: Widow Rosaria moves to Milano from Lucania with four of her sons, one of whom is Rocco; the eldest son, Vincenzo, already lives in Milano. In the beginning, the family has a lot of problems, but everyone manages to find something to do. Simone is boxing, Rocco works in a dry cleaner's, and Ciro studies. Simone meets Nadia, a prostitute, and they have a stormy affair. Then after finishing his military service, Rocco begins a relationship with Nadia. A bitter feud explodes between the brothers--will it lead to murder?


Thursday, May 26th @ 6pm ET:

Nuovomondo (Golden Door), directed by Emanuele Crialese (2006)

ABOUT: The story is set at the beginning of the 20th century in Sicily. Salvatore, a very poor farmer, and a widower, decides to emigrate to the US with all his family, including his old mother. Before they embark, they meet Lucy. She is supposed to be a British lady and wants to come back to the States. Lucy wants to marry someone before she arrives to Ellis Island in New York. Salvatore accepts the proposal. Once they arrive in Ellis Island they spend the quarantine period trying to pass the examinations to be admitted to the States. Tests are not so simple for poor farmers coming from Sicily. Their destiny is in the hands of the custom officers.


Thursday, June 9th @ 6pm ET: 

Sacco e Vanzetti (Sacco & Vanzetti), directed by Giuliano Montaldo (1971).

ABOUT: In 1920, the anarchist Italian immigrants Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti are sentenced to death, falsely accused of a robbery and murder. Indeed they are condemned due to their political beliefs, in one of the most shameful and hypocritical judgments of human history.



Founded in 2013, CIMA is a public non-profit dedicated to presenting modern and contemporary Italian art to international audiences. Through critically acclaimed exhibitions—many of them bringing work to U.S. audiences for the first time—along with a wide variety of public programs and substantial support for new scholarship awarded through its international fellowship program, CIMA situates Italian modern art in an expansive historic and cultural context, illuminating its continuing relevance to contemporary culture and serving as an incubator of curatorial ideas for larger cultural institutions. CIMA works to add new voices to scholarship on modern Italian art with annual fellowships that open fresh perspectives and new avenues of research. A visit begins with a complimentary espresso, followed by an informal exhibition tour with one of the resident fellows. Visitors are welcome to linger for additional viewing and conversation.



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