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!”
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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)

ROME, OPEN CITY

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Time for a classic! For our August meeting of Italian film-lovers (a little later than usual, forgive the summer tardiness!) we'll be discussing one of the most foundational films of Italian Neorealism, a story of oppression and resistance in Nazi-occupied Rome. This month we'll be taking a look at Roberto Rossellini's momentous, harrowingly timeless depiction of war...

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ROME, OPEN CITY (Roma città aperta, 1945)
Dir. by Roberto Rossellini
Available to rent on Amazon, YouTube or Vudu. Streaming on HBO Max or the Criterion Channel.

In the recently declared "open" Rome of 1944 (when the city gave up its defenses against occupying forces), a small band of everyday people strive to maintain a practice of resistance as best they can. For some, this entails housing and hiding those the Nazis have deemed politically unsavory. For others, it is outright rebellion through counter-insurgency. For everyone it is dangerous. Rossellini's landmark film follows the alliances, concessions, and betrayals of a people under the boot of a fascist police state and the lengths to which they will go in order to hold onto their dignity, their faith, and their lives.

Rome Open City is a touchstone work of neorealism that has influenced countless filmmakers and film movements in the almost 80 years since its release, and has been inducted into the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage's 100 Films to be Saved (100 film italiani da salvare) as one of the films that has "100 films that have changed the collective memory of the country." Let's talk about it!

*As a reminder - make sure to finish the film before coming to discussion!*

Past events (15)

MARTIN EDEN

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Photos (23)