A Mafia Story: Its Representation in Literature, Cinema and Television
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
Area of Study
Italian Culture, Literature
Taught In English
Course Level Recommendations
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Recommended U.S. Semester Credits3
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units4
Hours & Credits
OverviewCOURSE DESCRIPTIONFrom its local origins in Sicily, the Mafia has become a global phenomenon and a widespread model of organized crime that threatens and corrupts the international economy, political systems and social environments. Yet film, television and literature have shown a continued fascination of the Mafia which has often been portrayed with romantic and even heroic connotations.In this course we will explore the representations of the Mafia in Italy through literature, film, and television; in the 20th and 21st centuries. Combining the analyses of historians, sociologists, and intellectuals, along with the testimonies of victims, we will challenge the stereotypes through which cultural productions envision the Mafia, and more importantly, we will explore how the Mafia envisions the world, in particular what is its ethics, its relationships with law, politics, business and finance, its ideas of femininity and masculinity, its portrayals of children. Examining both the visions on and by the Mafia through cultural, socio-political, and historical perspectives, this course aims to deconstruct the mythological eye and instead form an analytical eye with which to investigate and better understand the Mafioso universe and power, and the cultural Italian identity as well.COURSE CONTENTSIn the course we will investigate the following topics:1. The origins/the myth (The Leopard film and book, Salvatore Giuliano film, The Godfather film)2. Mafia and politics (The Day of the Owl, book and film, The Terra-cotta Dog)3. Women in, against and around the Mafia (testimonies, Roberta Torre?s films)4. Mafia and the children (I?m Not Scared, film and book)5. Mafia and business (Gomorra, film and book)6. Mafia in tv series (The Sopranos, La piovra, Il commissario Montalbano)
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