The Italian Files
Lorenza Mazzetti, the genius
Lorenza Mazzetti’s work as filmmaker and writer has explored personal traumas and society through the eyes of an outsider. The episode will explore her work with Brighid Lowe and Henry K. Miller, makers of the documentary Together with Lorenza Mazzetti. Guest speakers: Brighid Lowe; Henry K. Miller
Women’s sport, the long game
From Sanremo to Eurovision
Writer and music critic Giulia Cavaliere unveils the origins of the annual Sanremo Festival song contest, a glitzy affair born in the ruins of the Second World War. What has been its impact on contemporary Italian culture? And beyond… would we have Eurovision if not for Sanremo?
Goliarda Sapienza, the outsider
This week we consider the life and legacy of the long-forgotten and misunderstood queer feminist writer Goliarda Sapienza. Why do her novels speak to us so powerfully today, in Italy and abroad? Alberica Bazzoni, author of Writing for Freedom: Body, Identity and Power in Goliarda Sapienza’s Narrative, takes us through Sapienza’s radically transgressive work, in which life and art refuse to be separated.
Franco Basaglia, the revolutionary
Italian colonialism, horror in the sun
In 1935, after a brutal campaign, Italy claimed Ethiopia as its own. How do Ethiopians remember those dark days? And Italians? Maaza Mengiste, whose acclaimed novel The Shadow King is set during the invasion, discusses the legacy of brutality and the multifaceted art of telling forgotten stories.
The Po, king of rivers
Italy’s longest river twists for more than 400 miles, from the mountains near Turin to the Venetian laguna. The Po has countless stories to tell about the country’s past, present, and precarious future. But are we listening hard enough? Tobias Jones, a journalist and writer known for his explorations of the murkier aspects of Italian life, takes us on a journey along the riverbanks.