image+nation culture queer


Gabriella Romano & Fabrizio Laurenti | Italy | 2020 | 54 min | ITALIAN S.-T.EN.

In collaboration with

This patchwork portrait of Fascist Italy conveys “the spirit of the times” through (in)famous literary passages, impassioned letters often written in code, and archival footage of glistening bodies: sailors, soldiers, bathers, lovers. A film celebrating the efforts of reading between the lines.

Guided by scholars, the words of artists like Radclyffe Hall and the theatrical dandy Filippo de Pisis, and archly staged readings of medical treatises, we are whisked from the city “full of traffic and busy people” to the sun-soaked “homosexual colony” of Capri; from amorous tales of haying to underground bathrooms. As modernity clashes with Fascism, so-called “pederast”s and “hermaphroditic virgin”s embrace love, sex, and their “crazy desire to live.” All in the name of self-articulation and unforgettable kisses.​​