Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2020

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Croft Institute for International Studies

First Advisor

Joshua First

Second Advisor

William Schenck

Third Advisor

Valerio Cappozzo

Relational Format



1969 to 1988 was a period of social and political unrest in Italy known as the Years of Lead. Within this political foment, leftist directors produced films that dealt with topics that were of concern to the Left such as the condition of factory workers and police corruption. This thesis explores the role of cinema within the public sphere, whether it acted as an alternative space, and whether its role changed over time. Influenced by neo- Habermasian theory, I hypothesize that cinema served as an alternative public space in which directors critiqued the environment which drove students and workers to the streets and as a political device to promulgate leftist ideas often through weaving them into poignant narratives. I explore this hypothesis and cinema’s changing role over a period of twenty-five years from 1969 until 1994 by looking at particular films and directors from that period.


This thesis may potentially prove useful to you if you want to have a better understanding of Italian sociopolitical changes from 1969 to 1994. Other than that, you might enjoy it if you are looking for a way to structure an historical national cinema analysis.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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