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Fascism on screen: Fascist Italy’s film diplomacy campaigns in the United States

Turillo, Daniel J. (2023) Fascism on screen: Fascist Italy’s film diplomacy campaigns in the United States. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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In the ten years before the outbreak of World War Two interrupted United States-Italy diplomatic relations, the Italian Fascist regime of Benito Mussolini sought to influence Americans’ opinion of Fascism by distributing Italian films in America. However, these campaigns have never been considered in their totality in scholarship on Fascist propaganda. This project seeks to provide a more complete examination of the Fascist regime’s efforts to use film as a propaganda tool in America by reviewing the exhibition and circulation work of Italian diplomats, Italian American organizations operating on behalf of the regime, and commercial distributors who signed agreements with the regime in the 1930s and early 1940s. By examining past scholarship in Fascist cinema studies, intragovernmental communications on different film distribution initiatives, and deliberations between regime officials and their implementing partners in America, I conclude that despite the best efforts of many agents of the regime to offer a positive vision of Fascism and Fascist Italy to Italian and non-Italian Americans through the cinema, Fascist film diplomacy initiatives in America were consistently limited in their ineffectiveness thanks to inadequate organizational, administrative, and economic support from the Italian government.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Turillo, Daniel
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorIozzia,
Committee ChairIozzia,
Committee MemberSpoon,
Committee MemberWest, Emily
Committee MemberGarofalo,
Date: 24 April 2023
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 3 April 2023
Approval Date: 24 April 2023
Submission Date: 19 April 2023
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 142
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: David C. Frederick Honors College
Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Italian
Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Political Science
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Fascism, Italian Fascism, Italian cinema, Italian Americans, cultural diplomacy, film diplomacy, public diplomacy
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2023 18:44
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2023 18:44


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