Il bagnetto del bebé ovvero lo strano cinema amatoriale della famiglia Mussolini
| COMUNICAZIONI SOCIALI - 2005 - 3. Il metodo e la passione. Cinema amatoriale e film di famiglia in Italia
This essay deals with the connection between Mussolini’s public figure and his own private image, by investigating, in particular, functions and uses of amateur and domestic (o home) films which involve the dictator and his family. In terms of consumption, the amateur cinema fits the cult of those objects symbolising modernity
(cars, aeroplanes, radios, motorboats...) which the Mussolinis like to be surrounded with. On the other hand, the communicative functions the Mussolinis’ films do accomplish are of two kinds, if one takes into account the fact that images are filmed by cameramen working on behalf of the national propaganda body: Istituto Luce. Within the family, in the shape of movie letters the daughter sent from Shanghai, all those films
display a private relationship which appears and is strengthened on a public scenery; on the contrary, the domestic (o home) shots of Mussolini’s children telecasted by news-reels have the purpose to build a private image of the dictator that large audiences may benefit from. As it is impossible to talk about a true Mussolini’s ‘family cinema’, the examples document the ceaseless superimposition of public and private spaces, as well
as the building logics of hybrid products.