Film Teasers

navigation menu

Italian state broadcaster RAI is under heavy fire amid allegations that it censored a planned anti-fascist monologue by prominent writer Antonio Scurati, author of international bestseller “M: Son of the Century,” which reconstructs fascist dictator Benito Mussolini’s rise to power.

Scurati was meant to read his monologue – written to mark the country’s upcoming April 25 national holiday that celebrates Italy’s liberation from fascism – on the talk show “Chesarà,” which aired on the broadcaster’s RAI 3 channel Saturday night.

Shortly before the show’s airtime, as the writer prepared to travel to Rome, he received a note from RAI informing him that his appearance had been canceled “for editorial reasons,” according to an internal RAI document published by leftist daily La Repubblica.

In protest against the sudden muzzling, “Chesarà” host Serena Bortone read out the monologue in full on the talk show herself. Scurati’s text has also now been published by many Italian newspapers and websites.

In the monologue, Scurati claims that Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, whose Brothers of Italy party has neo-fascist roots, has “stubbornly stuck to the ideological line of her neo-fascist culture of origin: she distanced herself from the indefensible brutalities perpetrated by the regime (the persecution of the Jews) without ever repudiating the fascist experience as a whole.”

Scurati’s novel “M: Son of the Century” has been translated for publication into 46 countries, sold more than 600,000 copies worldwide and won the Premio Strega, Italy’s most prestigious literary award. It is published in the U.S. by HarperCollins.

Meloni has been in power since October 2022, leading a coalition also comprising the far-right League and the late Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia.

In Italy, the government has always wielded influence over RAI, though to varying degrees, depending on who is in power.

In the Italian press, RAI executive Paolo Corsini has denied that the monologue was pulled for censorship reasons,  blaming it instead on contractual issues and the fact that Scurati has a rapport with RAI competitor Sky Italia. The Comcast-owned pay-TV service will be airing a high-end TV drama adapted from “M: Son of the Century” directed by British helmer Joe Wright.

Meloni has responded by publishing Scurati’s speech on her Facebook page, while attacking Scurati for charging RAI a €1,800 ($1,900) fee for his appearance on the show, which she called “propaganda.”

Prominent TV critic Aldo Grasso pointed out in Corriere della Sera newspaper that RAI muzzling Scurati has now prompted “the opposite” effect, giving the writer’s anti-fascist words huge relevance.

It will be interesting to see how the government, and Italian audiences, react when Wright’s outlandish “M: Son of the Century” adaptation, which features a techno score, airs locally on Sky at a still unspecified date later this year.

In the hotly anticipated show, Luca Marinelli (“The Eight Mountains,” “Martin Eden”) plays Mussolini during the period between 1919, when he founded the fascist party in Italy, and 1925 when – having gained power with the 1922 March on Rome – Mussolini made an infamous speech in the Italian Chamber of Deputies declaring himself a dictator. 

Luca Marinelli in the upcoming “M: Son of the Century” TV adaptation.
Courtesy Sky

Source link