In her recently published Migrant Anxieties: Italian Cinema in a Transnational Frame
(Indiana University Press, 2019), Áine O'Healy
explores how filmmakers in Italy have probed the tensions accompanying the country’s shift from an emigrant nation to a destination point for over five million immigrants over the course of three decades. Migrant Anxieties
traces a phenomenology of anxiety that is not only present at the sociopolitical level but also interwoven into the narrative strategies of over 30 films produced since 1990, throwing into sharp relief the interface between the local and the global in this transnational era. Starting with the representation of post-communist migrations to Italy from Eastern Europe and subsequent arrivals from Africa through the controversial frontier of Lampedusa, O’Healy explores topics as diverse as the configuration of migrant labor, affective surrogacy, Italian whiteness, and the legacy of Italy’s colonial history. Showing how contemporary filmmaking practices in Italy are linked to changes in the broader media landscape, O’Healy analyzes the ways in which both Italian and migrant filmmakers are reimagining Italian society and remapping the nation’s borderscape.
Giancarlo Lombardi is Professor of Italian and Comparative Literature at the College of Staten Island and at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He has published widely on European and North American serial drama, on Italian Film and Cultural Studies, and on cultural representations of Italian terrorism.