Stefania Benini

Andrew W. Mellon Penn Faculty Fellow in the Humanities

20132014 Forum on Violence

Stefania Benini

Assistant Professor of Romance Languages

Revolt and Sacrifice: the Children of the Bourgeoisie in Italian Cinema of the Late Sixties

In the late Sixties Italian Cinema confronts the interegenerational conflict that will explode soon in 1968 with the students' movement. Using a Girardian framework and identifying the young generation of the children of the bourgeoisie as the scapegoat of the age, my project retraces a common ground between four movies - Fists in the pocket (1965) by Piergiorgio Bellocchio, Theorem (1968) and Pigsty (1969) by Pier Paolo Pasolini and Cannibals (1970) by Liliana Cavani. I identify, under the narrative of violent upheaval that explodes the institutions of Family and State, a scapegoating motif that is expressed in the annihilating fate of the late Sixties bourgeois youth, dictated either by a hidden compulsion to comformism or by a totalitarian response in the Oedipal power struggle.