Promo Film Archive

WHO WE ARE

The Audiovisual Archive of the Democratic and Labour Movement was established in 1979 and became a Foundation in 1985. Its purpose is to safeguard and enhance the value of audiovisual and photographic documents relevant to its field. Our film and photography collection concerns contemporary history and society, mainly since the end of World War II. We collaborate with the Italian and foreign institutions and private organizations, initiating and conducting projects at the national and European levels. We collect, preserve and disseminate films, from those made by the historic directors of Italian documentaries to those produced by the youngest generation of filmmakers. The Archive conducts studies and research on technically reproducible images, positioning itself as hub among the academic world of cinema, history and social studies, the archive community and the production community (screen writers, directors, photographers and producers).

Database Film Aamod Archive.

WHAT WE HAVE

Our film collection includes documentaries, stock footage and documentation (footage of actual events), mainly dating from the end of World War II to present (7000 hours’ worth, 80% on film and 20% on tape). Around 20% is available in digital format.

The photography collection includes 300,000 pictures, partly digitized with high or low resolution and consultable online. Our audiovisual and photographic documents concern labour and the labour movement, Italian political parties and society, eastern Europe during the Cold War decades, political movements and events in Asia and Latin America, the political history of African countries, the end of colonial power and the history of liberation movements, the history of women, and the social, civil and political battles of the 20th century. Our sound documents (2000 hours’ worth, ¼” tapes, tracks and digital supports) record debates, investigations, interviews, speeches, conferences and seminars, lectures and music from the end of World War II to the present. In addition, we have a collection of paper documents regarding the activities of filmmakers and production companies.

HOW WE WORK

The Foundation’s chief activities can be summed up as follows: cataloguing the audiovisual and photographic collections and posting them on the internet according to international archival standards via up-to-date information technologies; design and implementation of databases, web portals and multimedia products. Organizing conferences on issues in the treatment of audiovisual collections, on audiovisual languages, on the use of new sources for historical research, on the relationship between film documentation and events, etc. Producing and co-producing documentary films based wholly or partly on archival materials; creation and collaboration on television programs dealing with contemporary history. Implementing regional, national and European projects aimed at enabling access to and use of the contest of image collections. Collaborating with film libraries, cultural institutes, universities and associations to organize cultural products and events related to the cinema, photography, history and contemporary society. Organizing training courses and seminars (for documentaries, archivists and filmmakers). Publishing (research, studies, monographs, investigations, conference proceedings, etc.).

Focus on Heritage

AAMOD has digitized and made available several films produced between 1945 and 1980, which are based on the self-portrayal of various politically active social actors, including factory workers, urban dwellers, women, non formal political (extra-parliamentary) and civil society groups, artists, who raised their voice to challenge mainstream politics and affirm their rights during the Sixties and Seventies.

These films, often directed by renown filmmakers such as Giuseppe Bertolucci, Giuseppe Ferrara, Ansano Giannarelli, Ugo Gregoretti, Carlo LIzzani, Cecilia Mangini, Annabella Miscuglio, Riccardo Napolitano, Rosalia Polizzi, Ettore Scola, Franco Paolo Vittorio Taviani, Wladimir Tchertkoff, Daniele Vicari, have been chosen because they are based on an attempt to have these groups develop their own representation, using the camera or allowing for camera recording of their organizing meetings, political negotiations, public rallies. Even when commissioned by political organizations or workers unions, these films privilege a non directive approach that facilitates free self expression of the protagonists, in order to gather honest and open points of views, based on a trustful relationship with the film crew.

This approach resulted in a specific and vital narrative form, which includes experimenting with the cinematographic language and techniques, reducing as much as possible any filter that would have hindered the true message that the recorded characters wanted to convey and trying to mirror with maximum of adherence the real conditions in which they moved, their practices as well as their strengths and weaknesses.

The films listed below, the majority of them produced during the Seventies, are a unique and little known historical document casting new light on the rapid political, economic and social transformations that Italy experienced in a very significant  decade, which saw the affirmation of the largest Communist Party in Europe and the impressive progresses promoted by the feminist movement, who was able to beat the Catholic Church on its own territory with the approval of the new Family Code introducing divorce and the legalization of abortion, but at the same time viewed the country ravaged by a dramatic wave of terrorist attacks, with contributed to label this period the “Years of Lead”.

These documents, who have never been released publicly so far, offer new insights in this controversial period and will contribute to research in various fields, including contemporary  history, political science and theory, sociology including visual sociology, gender studies, but also film theory. They will contribute to deepen the understanding of the sources of Italian recent feminist theory. They are true witnesses of the cultural, social and political vitality of Italian society and population during the Seventies, and can help better understand the role and influence that social change movements in Italy had at European and global level.

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