Sardinia on Screen

The Construction of the Sardinian Character in Italian Cinema

This volume explores how Sardinians and Sardinia have been portrayed in Italian cinema from the beginning of the 20th century until now, starting from the examination of Sardinian tropes in a wide range of texts – travel writing, fictional sources, essays and academic works. The purpose is to shed light on the cultural construction of the Sardinian character and to reveal the ideology that is behind this process. Hence the volume challenges topics such as the dynamics between verbal and visual imagery, and the intertwining between discourse, images and audience. It addresses the following questions: how was the Sardinian character translated from texts into films? Which strategies were developed to define Sardinian images on screen? For whom were these images intended? Which ideology lies behind the images?
Focusing on cultural images within film and literature, this volume is of interest to those working in imagology, comparative, cultural and Italian studies.

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“this work will certainly be a keystone in the study of Sardinian identity and culture. Bonaria Urban’s book is a text with which scholars of these subjects will have to engage, and which will be important also for those studying the representation of the south of Italy in general. Given its structure and length, it can also be used as a sort of catalogue, allowing the reader to jump from section to section and focus mainly on what s/he is interested in.” - Luca Peretti, Yale University, in: Modern Language Review, 111.3 (2016), pp. 880-882
“It is, however, admirably researched, clearly written and, I believe, instrumental in providing an overview of regional representations, and of literary and visual texts which have often been marginalized within Italian Studies.” - Giorgia Alù, University of Sidney, in: Incontri , vol. 29 (2014)
Imagology: Theory and Methods
Tropes, Images and Exoticism
National Characters: Origins and Development
Sardinian Character
National Characters from Literature to Cinema
Description of the Corpus
Structure of the Book
1. Sardinian Tropes in Literature before 1900
Sardinia in European Literature before 1900
Tropes of Land
2. Sardinian Tropes in Literature after 1900
Sardinia in European Literature after 1900
Tropes of Land
3. Sardinian Tropes on Screen
The ‘Ethnographic Spectacle’
Sardinian Landscape
North versus South
Sardinia as a Symbol of the South
Mountains and Landscape
Social-political Marginality
Exoticism and Wilderness
Sea and Tourism: Coast as Interface
Cities and Post-modernity
4. Sardinian Characters on Screen
Physical Appearance and National Character
Shepherds and Bandits
Honour and Shame: The ‘Vendetta Barbaricina’
Shepherds versus Town-dwellers and Farmers
The Sardinian Woman
The ‘New’ Sardinian People
5. Sardinian Identity on Screen
The Festivity as an Icon of Sardinian Identity
National Costume
Prehistory as a Topos of Sardinian Identity
Italian and Sardinian on Screen
6. Cases
La grazia (Aldo De Benedetti, 1929)
Sequestro di persona (Gianfranco Mingozzi, 1968)
Scarabea (Hans Jürgen Syberberg, 1969)
Il disertore (Giuliana Berlinguer, 1983)
Pesi leggeri (Enrico Pau, 2001)
L’ultima frontiera (Franco Bernini, 2006)
Post Scriptum: Bellas mariposas (Salvatore Mereu, 2012)
Appendix: Brief Summary of Sardinian History
Index of Names
Index of Films