Tasting a New Home: Food Representations in Italian Neorealist Cinema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article explores how representations of food contribute to the construction of home as an imagined place and shows that different representations result in multiple meanings of home. As food and the lack thereof constituted urgent issues in post-World War II Italy, directly impacting the welfare of individuals and communities, it is not surprising that Italian Neorealist films frequently featured representations of food production, preparation, and consumption. Food-related images not only contributed to the overall realistic effect but were also meant as a form of participation in the heated cultural and political debates about what both the private homes of Italians and their shared national home would be after 20 years of Fascist regime. By highlighting the food scarcity suffered by the working class and the relative abundance enjoyed by limited segments of the population, Neorealist filmmakers blurred the boundaries between the private and the public, bridging the social tensions in the civic domain with the domestic sphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-56
Number of pages21
JournalFood and Foodways
Volume23
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 3 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Health(social science)
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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