The Fistful of Flies: A Feminist Hyphenated Disruption and Transformation of Biopolitical Interpellation

Lara Palombo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


'Fistful of Flies' (1997), a film written and directed by Monica Pellizzari, is a rare, feminist intercultural intervention of Italian-Australian daughter/mother relations. This paper argues that this film participates in the disruption and transformation of the violent insular imaginary that has shaped the embodiment of Italian-Australian diasporic women cinematically and culturally. The surreal, black comedy is shown to enact a transmutated genre, that sets up grotesque images that are at times disturbingly raw and carry a sense of violent and struggling lives. The film sets up mother-daughter relations across three generations as being produced in this case by the women's varying relations with the territorialisation of transnational, diasporic communal/s and complicity with state biopolitical interpellation in the construction of an insular Nation. Finally, the reading of the cinematic materialisation of struggling bodies also shows that this is signified by the racial grotesque, a site of (self) reflectivity, disruption and transformation that creates chaos and failure to enter racial, ethnicised sexual embodiments. This does not create a complete transformation of the characters and mother-daughter relations but initiates possibilities based on the release of violence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-106
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Intercultural Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


  • Biopolitics
  • Diasporic Cinema
  • Feminist Cinema
  • Italian-Australian
  • Racialised Sexuality
  • Transnationalism


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