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Italy

Italian Feminist Films: The Law

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Italian Feminist Films: The Law

"La Legge", or "The Law", starring the gorgeous Gina Lollobrigida, was released in 1959. Lollobrigida plays a servant, named Marietta, to aristocrat Don Cesare. Marietta is the town beauty who follows her own rules. Each night, men (including the three men in love with Marietta) go to the local tavern to select a "boss" by playing a drinking game called, "The Law", in which one man is selected boss and thus has power to humiliate and degrade whomever he chooses. Many men are vying for Marietta's love and attention, but she only has her eyes for one: Enrico (Marcello Mastroianni), an engineer. She is considered too poor and has no dowry, so her marriage to Enrico, by all accounts, can never be. Taking matters into her own hands, Marietta steals a large amount of money believing this could help her marry Enrico.

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Italian Feminist slogans from the 1960s

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Italian Feminist slogans from the 1960s

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Enjoy this list of Italian feminist chants from the 1960s. Translated by Lucia Chiavola Birnbaum, from her book liberazione della donna: feminism in Italy.  

"Non c'è rivoluzione senza liberazione della donna. Non c'è liberazione della donna senza rivoluzione." (There is no revolution without liberation of women. There is no liberation of women without revolution.)

"Tremate! Tremate! Le streghe son tornate!" (Tremble! Tremble! The witches have returned!)

"Siamo donne (we are women) siamo tante (we are many) siamo stufe (we have had it) tute quante (all of us)"

"L'utero è mio e me lo gestisco io." (It is my uterus and I will manage it.)

"Le donne proletarie escono dalle cucine/fascisti, padroni, per voi sarà la fine." (Proletarian women are coming out of the kitchen/fascists, bosses, this will be your end.)

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Italian Feminist Films: Nights of Cabiria

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Italian Feminist Films: Nights of Cabiria

For my second installment of Italian Feminist Films, I will be telling you about, "Nights of Cabiria." The film was released in 1957 and directed by the famous, Federico Fellini. "Nights of Cabiria" stars, Giulietta Masina (Fellini's real-life wife) in a role as a sassy sex worker. Initially, Fellini had difficulty getting backing for the film, since no one in Italy wanted to produce a film which featured a sex worker as a heroine. In the first scene, Cabiria is likeable and you're immediately on her side. Though, how can you not be when suddenly her boyfriend steals her purse and pushes her into the river and she nearly dies? From the start, you want to see her survive--and survive she does.

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