A new dawn on the past: Rethinking the 'years of lead' through a female-centred cinematic narrative

Susanna Scarparo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review


Through a discussion of Susanna Nichiarelli's La scoperta dell'alba (The Discovery of Dawn, 2012), the article contends that historical films that do not centre their narratives around the homosocial and heterosexual male-quest, even if employing a conventional cinematic style, allow us to rethink national histories, trauma and contested memories, as they shift the focus to female subjectivities that are often marginalised in Italian historical films. Specifically, the discussion of Nichiarelli's La scoperta dell'alba focuses on the complex role of victims in interpreting the legacy of the anni di piombo and on the processes through which the interplay between mourning and melancholia fosters the emotional agency that is necessary for dealing constructively with the experience of loss.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-196
Number of pages14
JournalModern Italy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017


  • anni di piombo ('years of lead')
  • female-centric narratives
  • Nichiarelli
  • terrorism Italian historical film
  • women's cinema

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