A Spectre is Haunting Italy: The Double 'Emplotment' of the Moro Affair

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Book Chapter

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Terrorism, Italian Style: Representations of Political Violence in Contemporary Italian Cinema


Some years ago the sociologists Raimondo Catanzaro and Luigi Manconi pointed out that left-wing terrorism was perceived in Italian society as 'una ferita non ancora rimarginata, un dolore collettivo che esplode in forma violenta e lacerante ogni volta che la discussione su quegli anni si riapre' [a wound not yet healed, a collective ache that explodes violently and painfully whenever discussion of those years is rekindled]. This observation is still current and particularly true for the most controversial left-wing terrorist act in Italy, namely, the abduction and assassination of the president of the Democrazia Cristiana (DC), Aldo Moro, in 1978 at the hands of the Brigate Rosse (BR). The Moro 'affair'- so-called after Leonardo Sciascia's renowned essay on this subject- has raised many questions about the involvement of the DC, the Partito Comunista Italiano (PCI), the Italian secret services, the CIA , the KGB, criminal groups, and also that significant part of Italian society that voiced its disapproval towards both the BR and the political establishment through the recurrent formula 'né con le Brigate Rosse né con lo Stato' [neither with the BR, nor with the state]. The magnitude of the event, the alleged connections among secret, paramilitary or criminal organizations, and the political repercussions of the event, both nationally and internationally, have generated a considerable amount of research and a wide spectrum of publications. Since the late 1970s, cultural production on the Moro affair has been incessant. Investigative reports, essays, novels, memoirs, feature films, television programmes and theatrical works have been produced in substantial quantities, and the passage of time has not reduced the rate of production. On the contrary, the list continues to expand and interest continues to grow.


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