The Cinecittà Refugee Camp: History and Memory of a Movie Studio, 1944-1950


ACLS Fellowship Program


Italian Studies


This project focuses on the refugee camp that operated from 1944 to 1950 on the grounds of Cinecittà, one of the world’s major movie studios. Drawing on documents from a range of international archives, photographs, films, and personal interviews, the project unravels the chronicles of the camp in its historical and film-historical contexts, analyzing its structure, magnitude, and duration; attending to the social and political forces that shaped it; and reflecting on its human plight. It looks at perspectives rarely considered together in film scholarship: the experience of displacement in postwar Europe, Rome’s housing problems, the shifting circumstances of the movie studios established during fascism, and the reconstruction of the Italian film industry as both indebted to and constricted by Allied (and Hollywood) interests. Interlacing these threads helps shape new understandings of neorealism—both its achievements and its myths.