MARCELLO Italian Film Festival

THAT'S LA MORTE: Italian Cult Cinema and the Years of Lead

Expired January 18, 2021 11:30 PM
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That’s la Morte: Italian Cult Cinema and the Years of Lead (2018) is an 80 minute documentary that considers how horror and cult film cycles came to reflect wider anxieties within 1970s Italy. The documentary utilizes exclusive access to the archives of Dania Film: the prolific Italian production house that released over 100 genre film titles. 


The documentary links the populist productions that Dania Film created to the wider social, historical and political tensions within the anni di piombo (‘years of lead’). Here, a decade of violent revolt, terrorist activity and militant sexual politics created a context of trauma that impacted on the Italian collective and cinematic consciousness. Some of the memorable markers in this decade included the 1969 Piazza Fontana (Milan) and 1980 (Bologna) bombings by clandestine fascist groups, as well as sustained violent activity by leftist collectives such as The Red Brigades (including their spectacularly tragic kidnapping and murder of Christian Democrat Premier Aldo Moro in 1978). These atrocities (compounded by over 14,000 additional terrorist attacks upon Italian citizens between 1969 and 1983), seem systematically reproduced in Dania’s popular film templates of the giallo (thriller), rogue cop films and sex comedy cycles that the documentary explores. 


That’s la Morte combines archival materials related to these film genres alongside interviews with leading filmmakers, performers, composers and screenwriters associated with Italy’s years of lead.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    80 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United Kingdom
  • Director
    Xavier Mendik