When mockumentary gets Italian: Il ritorno di Cagliostro along the lines of Forgotten Silver

Emanuele Broccio


Playing on a fusion between the aesthetic strategies of the documentary as a genre and the discursive features of the fiction, Il ritorno di Cagliostro (Ciprì and Maresco: 2003) should be classified within that filmic category called mockumentary. The following essay will analyse first how the techniques used put the spectator in a continuous oscillation between the feeling of witnessing real-life situations and the suspicion of fiction. The alternation of the two systems, around which the film is structured, thus dynamically characterizes the communication pact. Secondly, we will examine Forgotten Silver by Peter Jackson which is the foreign model that acts behind Ciprì and Maresco’s formal choices, highlighting how the most significant difference can be traced on a thematic level. Subject, setting and plot, they all contribute – often in the forms of the grotesque – to a lucid and radical critique of Italian political and religious institutions. Finally, the study thus conducted will allow us to recognise Il ritorno di Cagliostro as an attempt to respond to today's need of the cinema for a return to reality.


mockumentary, intertextuality, spectator, biopic, reality

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/3751

NBN: http://nbn.depositolegale.it/urn%3Anbn%3Ait%3Aunica-25767

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