What we're about

Benvenuto! Are you a lover of Italian culture and history? Do you have a long backlog of classic movies you’ve been meaning to get around to? Do you just enjoy the mellifluous sounds of people speaking Romance languages? We’ve got you covered on all fronts.

This group is dedicated to exploring the vast history of Italian cinema through regular Zoom discussions, meeting weekly on Tuesday evenings. Each week will focus on a different film, which you can either watch independently ahead of discussion (we'll let you know where the film can be rented or streamed) or join us for a group viewing night on Monday evenings. However you choose to check out the week’s film, make sure you’ve got it fresh in your memory when we convene for discussion!

We’ll provide some brief historical context at the beginning of each meeting, but any topic is up for discussion. Do you have a hot analytical take on the movie? A favorite scene? Loose ramblings or remarks? We want to hear it all!

Discussion will be led by Matthew Jackson, film scholar from the University of Chicago and host of the Alliance Française de Chicago’s weekly Ciné-Club. This group is hosted by the Italian-American Heritage Society of Chicago but open to all – if you’ve got a computer, you’ve got an invitation!

Zoom links will be sent out when you register, make sure you click “going!”
Join our Discord to keep the conversation going between meetings: https://discord.com/channels/811440410274299945/818658644546682951

Learn more about the Italian American Heritage Society at https://italianheritagechicago.org

Upcoming events (1)


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When the Family runs everything, there can be no distinction between denizens and do-gooders. This month, we'll be turning from Pasolini's allegorical depiciton of the criminal underworld to a starker, more realistic, contemporary portrait - a mafia story so well-researched and accurate that the guy who wrote it can't live without a bodyguard anymore. Join us as we take a look at Matteo Garrone's hyper-vivid, panoramic view of the modern Neapolitan crime ecosystem:

Dir. by Matteo Garrone
Available to rent on Amazon Prime or AppleTV. Also streaming on the Criterion Channel.

*Warning - lots of violence*

In the Neapolitan suburb of Scampia, the Camorra crime syndicate governs everything. When an assassination between feuding families ignites a full-on war, the ripples are felt among all of the city's inhabitants - a meek money lender is caught in between the worsening clan relations; a thirteen-year old boy begins his gangland initiation; two overzealous wannabes strike out on their own as a competing criminal entity. Each of these stories bears the mark of a social order ruled by organized crime, where actions have serious consequences and violence is paramount to survival. Is there a way out for any of those caught in the tangle? Or is the only winning move to play along?

Based on Robert Caviano's groundbreaking exposé on one of the world's biggest crime syndicates, Gomorrah is a multi-perspective, brutally realistic rendering of a contemporary landscape governed by crime, and boasts the 2008 Cannes Grand Prix. Although described as a curative for the romanticism of the Godfather and other modern mafioso movies, it won the enthusiastic acclaim of crime film mega-director Martin Scorsese, who allowed his name to be attached to the film as a means of promotion. Let's talk about it!

*As a reminder, be sure to finish the film before coming to discussion!

Past events (21)


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