Neo-realism and Italian national identity: a Jungian reading

Coleman, D.S., 2007. Neo-realism and Italian national identity: a Jungian reading. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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For more than three decades Freudian psychoanalysis has provided the referential framework to the development of an academically viable, diverse and animated debate on film. Notwithstanding its emphasis on the centrality of images, the contribution from Jungian analytical psychology to the scholarly debate on cinema has remained scarce and somewhat unacknowledged.

A recent flow of Jungian publications on film has helped readdress the balance opening interesting new possibilities for a research based on Jungian analytical psychology's positive approach to the image.

This thesis investigates the possibility of isolating cinematic images as markers of the stages of a cultural transformation akin to what Jung had described as the individually pursued process of individuation. Within this perspective the striving of a group towards the acquisition of a sense of national identity is understood as parallel to the ego consciousness' striving for emergence in the individual.

Implying the director's surrender to the narratives of reality, Italian neo-realism offers access to unexpectedly rich archetypical material. Read against the historical context of the struggle for the achievement of national unity the films of Luchino Visconti, Roberto Rossellini and Vittorio de Sica released between 1942 and 1952 provide the ideal field of analysis for the testing of the thesis' hypothesis.

A comparative reading, based on the Jungian interpretative method of amplification, successfully relates the films' function of compensating for the collectively experienced weakening of the emergent national identity, first to the damaging effects of fascism, and then to the corrupting influence of post-war international alliances.

In suggesting an original approach to the analysis of the link between cinematic images and the processes at work in the unconscious of the culture which produces and receives them, this thesis demonstrates the potential of the application of the Jungian construct to the study of film.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Coleman, D.S.
Date: 2007
ISBN: 9781369314809
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 22 Sep 2020 08:04
Last Modified: 03 Aug 2023 10:50

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