Dreams of escape: variations of the Italian road movie

Kerstin Pilz

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1 Citation (Scopus)


This study explores the journey motif in Italian cinema, with a particular emphasis on Salvatores' quintessential road movies Marrakech Express and Puerto Escondido and two recent lesser known variations of the genre, Davide Ferrario's Figli di Annibale and Marco Risi's Tre mogli. Attention is paid to Edward Said's trope of exile which he associates both with the negative connotations of loss and exclusion and with the positive connotations of exile as critical perspective. In considering the clash between forced mass exile and willed homelessness, the suggestion is made that road movies, by centring on the contemporary figure of the voluntary exile in a period when Italy is being invaded at its margins (and thus challenged at its very core) by displaced persons in search of political asylum and economic opportunity, implicitly draw attention to this binary of inclusion and exclusion. It is argued that the figure of the solitary exile or expatriate, while cast as a post-modern nomad, remains tied to the discourses of modernity and the colonial project.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-152
Number of pages14
JournalRomance Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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