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A Lens on History: Lorenza Mazzetti’s Films

24Jan6:00 pm8:00 pmA Lens on History: Lorenza Mazzetti’s FilmsGiorno della Memoria6:00 pm - 8:00 pm(GMT-05:00) MemoriaMemoria

Event Details

A Lens on History: Lorenza Mazzetti’s Films.


Alessandro Cassin will present and discuss excerpts of Lorenza Mazzetti’s films The Country Doctor (1953) and Together (1956) recently restored by the British Film Institute in London. A long time friend of Lorenza and Paola Mazzetti, Cassin reflects on the twin sisters’ approach to art and life, their attitude toward history and their investigation of human nature, which was central not only to Lorenza’s films but also to Paola’s work and the experimental art-therapy community she gathered for decades in their Roman home. Cassin is the curator of  the exhibition After Images, The Murder of the  Einstein-Mazzetti Family. Photographs by Eva Krampen Kosloski, which will open on January 18th at the Memoriale della Shoah in Milan. Lorenza Mazzetti’s London film series will be shown at the Museum of Modern Art this January.

In London, during the 1950s, Lorenza Mazzetti became a filmmaker and one of the founders of the Free Cinema movement. She and her twin sister Paola had been adopted by Nina and Robert Einstein, first cousin of Albert and spent their childhood in the Tuscan countryside. While Robert was in hiding, the women of the family were massacred by the Germans on August 3, 1944. The girls, then 17, were the only survivors. In the Sixties, Lorenza broke the borders of conventional cinema transforming her unspeakable memory into a disruptive creative force. An evening of Lorenza’s films recently restored by the British Film Institute.

A survivor from war-torn Italy who took Free Cinema to Cannes

Henry K Miller

The filmmaker who came to prominence with Together, as part of the Free Cinema movement in Britain, used her art to express the trauma she experienced during the Second World War.

It was in London that Lorenza Mazzetti became a filmmaker. She could not recount the trauma she had undergone to anyone around her; it came out in her art. She and her twin sister Paola were born in Rome in 1928; their mother died shortly afterwards and they went to live with their aunt Nina, who was married to Robert Einstein, a cousin of Albert Einstein. Fascism little impinged on a happy childhood spent in rural Puglia and Tuscany. The catastrophe came late in the Second World War, when Italy was made a battlefield. In 1944, during the German retreat, an SS unit came to the villa outside Florence where the family lived, and murdered Nina and her children, all with Jewish surnames. Robert was absent from the scene, but killed himself a year later. The Mazzetti girls, not deemed to be Jewish, survived.

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