History & Culture
At the end of the war...
Italy experienced a massive economic improvement often referred to as 'boom economico'. With
the help of the Marshall Plan, industry in Italy began to take off and by 1986 Italy had a higher
GDP than Great Britain at $599.8 billion 
. Even though
Italy was going through this economic boom that promised to help everyone, there were still
classes of workers that were not seeing any increase in their standard of living.
Noi donne, 15 May 1945, front cover
Workers were unionizing and even resorting
to violence at times in the workplace. Some comedy Italian style films like Big Deal
on Madonna Street
spoke to this issue. In a time right when Italy was experiencing
this large economic boom, our lead characters are planning how to complete a heist
because they are still struggling to find money... and some of them, love.
leading up to and including the 1970s included commentary on the
role of women and divorce
. During this time, discussion on divorce and women's choice
in abortions became more prevalent. News magazines, like Noi Donne
, released articles
about about 'why not divorce?' and 'what about love?'. By 1970 the discussion on divorce
was well underway, and Italy passed its first divorce law in 1974.
The first Italian republic ended in the 1990s with "Mani Pulite", the investigation
into political corruption in Italy. Political dealings and relations never really die
and still exist into the beginning of the Second Republic. Although the old parties died
with the First Republic, the time during the 90s was still marred with allegations of
deceit and corruption, and Italian films did not shy away from commenting on the new status
quo. The new status quo that seemed liked a new mask on the old status quo.
In the 1940s,
Italy's film industry was in the era of Neorealism. Because of the perceptions of Italians
during the war, many filmmakers, including well known filmmakers like Rossellini, were making
films about the Italian Resistance War showcasing Italian resistance to fascism. These
films wanted to point out social issues and, in this case, it was that all Italians
appeared favorable of the fascist regime. However, many Italians, including women and children,
were helping support resistance troops. Comedy Italian style, built off of the commedia
technique and inspired by the neorealist filmmaking, merged these two movements
together to create a fun, tragic, and enlightening genre of film.