Film screening and discussion with
Film screening and discussion with Giorgio Treves (filmmaker), Ernest Ialongo (Hostos Community College, CUNY) and Nina Valbousquet (Fordham University)
1938 – Diversi (2018), By Giorgio Treves
Produced by Tangram Film/Roberto Levi and Carolina Levi, in collaboration with Sky Arte, Piemonte Film Fund, MiBACT, AB Groupe e AAMOD
“Fascism can still return under the most innocent appearance. Our duty is to unmask it and to point to each of its new forms – every day, in every part of the world”. Umberto Eco
1938 – 2018: Eighty years ago, the King of Italy and Mussolini signed the so-called Racial Laws. According to them, Italians were a pure race and the Jews, who had lived in Italy for almost 2000 years, were not to be considered Italian. Jews were therefore stripped of the civil rights, professions, right to education, all forms of presence in public life, books, culture, right to ownership, to conduct business, to provide goods and services and so forth. Jews who did not have Italian citizenship or had acquired it after 1919 were ordered to leave the country.
The political conditions that led to the racial persecution in Italy and the reasons why the Italian people with rare exception did not oppose it and in fact participated in it at all levels of society, have long been the subject of research, literature, film and public debate.
Giorgio Treves’ new documentary, “1938 DIVERSI,” revisits the promulgation of the laws in the context of Italian Fascism as well as focusing on the recollection of that period by Jews and non-Jews. As the director explains, “The film is born of a profound need to know, understand and make known. These events, albeit in different ways, repeat themselves and threaten our future. I sought to waive the official voice of History with micro-histories, personal stories, and testimonies. The film works on different levels, on one side seeking to reconstruct and teach history, on the other to stimulate reflection and awareness through an emotional approach.”
Giorgio Treves was born in 1945 in New York. He has worked in theater, cinema and television and has been assistant director to Francesco Rosi, Vittorio De Sica and Luchino Visconti. Mr. Treves directed over a dozen films including: “K-Z” (1972, Academy Award nomination); Ashes for Sister Flynn (1982, based on James Joyce’s The Dubliners); The Devil’s Tail (1986, David di Donatello); Rosa and Cornelia (2000); The Paths of the Recherche, Luchino Visconti (2006).
Ernest Ialongo is Associate Professor of History at Hostos Community College in The City University of New York. He is the author of Filippo Tommaso Marinetti: The Artist and his Politics with Fairleigh Dickinson University Press (2015), and co-editor of New Directions in Italian and Italian American History: Selected Essays from the Conference in Honor of Philip Cannistraro (2013). Additionally, he has co-edited three special sections of the Journal of Modern Italian Studies—entitled “Reconsidering Futurism” (September 2013), “Multi/Interdisciplinary Investigations into Italy and World War I” (March 2016), and “Italy and the Euro-Mediterranean Migrant Crisis: National Reception, Lived Experiences, E.U. Pressures” (September 2018). He has authored various articles dealing with Futurism, politics and culture, and anti-Semitism in Liberal and Fascist Italy, and most recently has authored “Nation-Building through Antisemitism: Fascism and the Jew as the Internal Enemy” in Annali d’Italianistica (forthcoming) and co-edited a special issue of the Journal of Modern Italian Studies entitled “On the 80th Anniversary of the Racial Laws. Essays Reflecting the Current Scholarship on Italian Fascist Anti-Semitism in Honour of Michele Sarfatti.” He is currently the Chair of the Columbia University Seminar in Modern Italian Studies.
Nina Valbousquet holds a PhD from Science Po in Paris. Her research focuses on antisemitism, Catholic institutions and Fascism. was postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Jewish History in New York City, visiting scholar at New York University (2016-2018), and at the Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (Washington DC, Fall 2018). She was awarded a New York Public Library – Fordham University Fellowship in Jewish studies for the Spring 2019. Dr. Valbousquet’s dissertation will be published in Spring 2019 in France (CNRS editions): Catholique et antisémite : Le réseau transnational de Mgr Benigni (1918-1934). Her book proposal for a second monograph entitled Rome, Zion, and the Fasces: Italian Catholics and Antisemitism in Europe (1918-1946) won the 2017 Peter Lang Young Scholars Competition in Modern Italian Studies, for a publication at the end of 2019. She is the author of several book chapters and articles, which appeared in Revue d’Histoire Moderne et Contemporaine (2015), Cahiers de la Méditerranée, Passato e Presente (2017), Archives Juives, Modern Italy, and Journal of Modern Italian Studies (2018), among others.