Italians in films

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This chapter discusses a meaningful selection of US and British films that portray Italianness in order to show how these hetero-constructed images have been variously received in Italy throughout the 20th century. To convey images of their own ethnicity and national identity to a domestic audience, Italian film translators are presented with a series of challenges: what cultural and semiotic processes are at work in Italy at the moment of translating stereotypes of Italians? Are there images which have been traditionally considered unsuitable for projection in Italian cinemas? What translational options do the translators have at their disposal? Is there any political or social pressure which favours or discourages one particular translational solution over another? The chapter will show that cases of manipulation were frequent and that the translations were often influenced by issues of nationalism and by questions surrounding the use of the standard Italian language and of its regional varieties in films.


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