Santiago, Italia: Stories of Refugees of the Past in Today’s World of Tightening Borders

Santiago, Italia: Stories of Refugees of the Past in Today’s World of Tightening Borders (webinar, Nov. 22, 2020 3pm EST)

Conversation about the documentary Santiago, Italia (2019 David di Donatello Award Winner as Best Documentary) by Nanni Moretti with Maura Morales Bergmann (cinematographer) and Jaime Baeza Freer (Universidad de Chile)
Moderated by Teresa Fiore (Inserra Chair, MSU) FLYER
With opening remarks by
Piera Detassis (President and Artistic Director) and Massimo Mascolo (Advisor to the President for Awards’ Innovation and Reform), Academy of Italian Cinema David di Donatello Awards
Katia Paz Goldfarb, Assistant Vice President for Hispanic Serving Initiatives (MSU)
Alfredo Toro Carnevali (Political Science and Law Dept., MSU)

Included in the new series “Dentro/Afuera: The Interconnections between Italian and Latin American/Spanish Cultures”, this screening with conversation launches an Inserra initiative aimed at exploring the vibrant interconnections between Italy and Latin American countries as well as Spain across time. Nanni Moretti’s award-winning 2019 documentary, Santiago, Italia is the ideal work to start this exploration as it highlights the political and cultural ties between Chile and Italy at a very delicate time in 20th-century history. In the early 1970s, Italy opened its Embassy first and then its borders to Chileans fleeing the Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship, which overturned with a coup d’état the democratically elected leader Salvador Allende and his Socialist agenda of free universal education and land re-distribution. The little known story of the efforts of the Italian Embassy to save and relocate citizens targeted by the fascist regime is told through the testimonies of those who were there, from refugees to diplomats. “Santiago, Italia is a chilling depiction of living under junta rule and an ultimately inspiring expression of hope amidst dire circumstances” (Distrib Films website), which lends itself to a reflection on the fate of today’s refugees whose protection is much more fragile in a world of tightening borders.

The documentary will be accessible via the Accademia del Cinema Italiano Premi di David di Donatello digital platform: this event marks the beginning of a partnership with the Accademia del Cinema Italiano Premi David di Donatello (the Italian equivalent of the Oscar Awards), a prestigious collaboration that opens a precious window on Italian documentaries and films able to enrich the dialogue about Italy-Latin American linkages, with the participation of directors, as well as cast and crew members.

The Nov. 22 conversation about the documentary will be the occasion to discuss the events of 1973, and their legacy, in socio-political terms with Dr. Jaime Baeza Freer (Universidad de Chile) and to delve into the aesthetic language of a political film like Santiago, Italia with its Italian-Chilean cinematographer, Maura Morales Bergmann.

Maura Morales Bergmann

Maura Morales Bergmann grew up in Rome in a partly Chilean family filled with film production (her father is a TV director). She graduated from the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia (CSC-The National School of Cinema), where she studied with Giuseppe Rotunno, cinematographer of milestone films by Fellini and Visconti, among others. She has worked as a cinematographer in 11 fiction films, 28 documentaries and 27 short films, not to mention numerous commercials. She has collaborated with many established directors from Nanni Moretti to Roberto Benigni, Spike Lee, Roberto Faenza, Mario Martone, Gabriele Muccino, Lina Wertmuller, and Mario Monicelli. She has recently moved to directing with a particular focus on Chilean and family stories and with growing success. Her first documentary Entierro about the life and work of the Italy-based Chilean artist Carmengloria Morales won her a special mention at 2019 Biografilm Festival, a Critic Prize at Sguardi Altrove and best cinematography in Argentina.

Jaim Baeza Freer

Jaime Baeza Freer is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Universidad de Chile. He studied at Essex University (UK) and Georgetown University. His publications focus on a variety of issues related to historical and contemporary Chilean politics ranging from elections to party formation, security, and alliances. A research project of his looked at political reform in Chile from the first quarter of the 20th century until the golpe of 1973. Freer has published articles about Colombian, Argentinian and Ecuadorian politics as well. He is also a journalist.

The event will be in English and in part also in Italian and Spanish. Sections in Italian and Spanish will be simultaneously interpreted into English by Lilia Pino Blouin. Click on the Interpretation button on the Zoom menu and select English.

Short url:

Further resources:
Information about the film on IMDB page
Video: Nanni Moretti receives the David di Donatello Award (Best Documentary, 2019)
Reviews in several languages