This course will explore the major events and the most relevant political and cultural transformations in Italian contemporary society as viewed through the lens of acclaimed Italian directors. Where did these transformations come from, and what does Cinema have to say about them? This course will investigate how Italian films portrayed and mirrored such events and how each director offered a personal interpretation by adopting a very different cinematic approach. In-class discussion will cover both film analysis and political, cultural, and social issues that affected Italy from the second world war to nowadays (Fascism, political tensions of the Seventies, the kidnapping of the Prime Minister Aldo Moro, the fight to the Mafia and its implications with the government, up to Berlusconi). The syllabus will include (but won’t be limited to) films by Vittorio De Sica, Roberto Rossellini, Ettore Scola, Lina Wertmuller, Marco Tullio Giordana, Marco Bellocchio, Nanni Moretti, Matteo Garrone and Paolo Sorrentino.