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News and Announcements

Santiago, Italia (A Conversation about Nanni Moretti’s Documentary – Nov. 22, 2020)

Posted in: CHSS News, Inserra Chair Events, Italian News and Events, World Languages and Cultures


On Nov. 22, 2020 the virtual conversation Santiago, Italia: Stories of Refugees of the Past in Today’s World of Tightening Borders, organized by the Inserra Endowed Chair, focused on the fascinating story of Chilean refugees supported by the Italian government after the 1973 golpe by Pinochet, as portrayed in Nanni Moretti’s award-winning documentary Santiago, Italia (2019 David di Donatello Award for Best Documentary – see trailer). The event featured Maura Morales Bergmann (the documentary’s cinematographer), who shared stories and anecdotes about the making of the documentary (including a discussion of the famous “I am not impartial” scene), as well as her own story as an Italian of Chilean origin. Dr. Jaime Baeza Freer (Assistant Professor of Political Science, Universidad de Chile) provided a critical reading of the documentary that was able to link Italy and Chile in terms of the politics of resistance, ranging from formal political parties to protest bands such as the Inti-llimani. The event’s VIDEORECORDING is available on the YouTube Inserra channel.

The program was presented in collaboration with the Department of Political Science and Law at a unique moment in the history of Chile after the November 2020 referendum, and created the opportunity to address issues of democracy and human rights across countries then and now in particularly topical ways. Perhaps this ability to speak to current concerns is one reason that the New Yorker included Santiago, Italia in its list of the best movies of 2020.

The event also marked the beginning of a partnership between Inserra/MSU and the prestigious Academy of Italian Cinema David di Donatello Awards, the Italian equivalent of the Oscar Awards. The Academy created an ad hoc Inserra/David di Donatello space on its digital platform for the streaming of the documentary, with a view towards re-leveraging this for future collaborations. It is the first time that this platform was specifically used to target an international audience, as Piera Detassis (President of the Academy) and Massimo Mascolo (Advisor to the President) strongly emphasized in the opening remarks. The Inserra Chair/MSU is now included among the Academy’s official partners, along with several Italian and European institutions and organizations active in the support of cinema at large. The inclusion occurs at a time in which the Academy is undergoing important reforms in the direction of new modalities (use of online spaces and social media) and more inclusivity, especially of women as directors, cinematographers and jury members.

Finally, the event also marked the launching of a new event series called “Dentro/Afuera: The Interconnections between Italian and Latin American/Spanish Cultures,” designed in connection with the MSU campus’ designation as Hispanic-serving institution, which was reflected in the collaboration with the Hispanic Initiatives Office. The languages of the conversation reflected these interconnections: the event was presented in English with parts in Italian and Spanish with simultaneous interpretation (the video recording with all three languages can be found here). The audience was made up of students, teachers, librarians, and film directors, among others, joining from Europe, North and South America.

The photo below features the official speakers as well as the representatives of all the units and organizations involved in the event, on and off campus. For more information, see webpage.

Photo Santiago Italia event