Al di là del vero e del falso. Sul rapporto realtà/immagine nel genere mondo movies

Giuseppe Previtali

Within the system of filmic genres, documentary always occupied a subaltern and problematic position, especially when referring to the problem of the link between filmic images and reality. Moving from this element, the aim of the paper is to analyse a specific sub-genre (known as mondo movie) that, thanks to its pioneering and visionary strength, seems to be a peculiar case study for a general reflection on the veracity of contemporary images. These (quasi-) documentaries, produced in great number in Italy for at least three decades starting from 1958 and largely overlooked by the critics, seems extremely interesting nowadays, mainly for their capacity to anticipate crucial and contemporary visual problems. Through an analysis that addresses both textual and paratextual elements, the paper will try to show how these movies were able to “produce the false”, deeply problematizing the centrality of the indexical nature of the image and somehow anticipating the “post-documentary era“.