Re-reading Marina:Sexuality, materialism and the construction of Italy

Holdaway, Dominic and Missero, Dalila (2018) Re-reading Marina:Sexuality, materialism and the construction of Italy. Journal of Italian Cinema & Media Studies, 6 (3). pp. 343-358. ISSN 2047-7368

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In this article, we propose a reading of the historical relevance of Roberto Rossellini’s Roma città aperta (Rome, Open City) (Rossellini, 1945) in relation to one of the lesser-studied characters: Marina Mari (played by Maria Michi). The character of Marina has been subjected to critical negative responses centred on her narrative function, the betrayal of the Resistance movement or the ‘corrupt’ persona of the actress. We argue that Marina, in fact, embodies the convergence of a series of gender, genre, social and historic dynamics that have exceptional symbolic relevance for Italian cinematic and social history. We begin with an overview of the connection between Rome, Open City and the antifascist, re-foundational rhetoric that emerged after the Second World War, which ‘preserved’ Italian national identity by assigning culpability to the Germans alone. Following this, through a careful re-reading of her narrative function and visual representation, we demonstrate the radicalness of Marina’s sexual and social identity.

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Journal Article
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Journal of Italian Cinema & Media Studies
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10 Mar 2023 15:05
Last Modified:
22 Sep 2023 00:53