Deicides, Sacrifices and Other Crucifixions. For a Critical Reinterpretation of Italian Holocaust Cinema

Damiano Garofalo

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


This essay analyses the evolution of the Holocaust film genre in Italy through the paradigm of sacrifice, understood both as a process of martyrisation and Christianisation of the Holocaust, and from the point of view of the instrumental use of the figure of the national hero. Using the examples of the opening sequence of the deicide and the metaphorical crucifixion of Matteo Blumenthal at the end of L’ebreo errante (The Wandering Jew, Goffredo Alessandrini, 1948); the sacrifice of Giulia in L’oro di Roma (The Gold of Rome, Carlo Lizzani, 1961), who follows her Jewish nature faced with the round-up of 16 October 1943 – the same fate suffered by Edith, the Parisian Jew in Kapò (Gillo Pontecorvo, 1959); and the self-inflicted death of Guido, the narrative device used to justify the survival of the son in La vita è bella (Life Is Beautiful, Roberto Benigni, 1997), this contribution will focus on the definition of the Christianised topos of sacrifice, connected to the conception and general use of the term ‘Holocaust’. The overall thesis, running through the analysis of these four films, is that the paradigm has contributed significantly to the creation of a context of conflicting memories, influencing therefore the formation of the religious, cultural, political or national identities that have been involved historically in the public and private memory of the Holocaust.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)143-153
Numero di pagine11
RivistaModern Italy
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2017


  • italian cinema, holocaust cinema, holocaust memory


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