Photos From a Vanished Italy: A Gritty 'Reality Show' Comes to S.F.

Jul 09, 2019 660

BY: Patricia Yollin

After all 115 photographs were finally ensconced on the walls of the Museo Italo Americano, assistant curator Bianca Friundi took a good look at what she'd help put in place. "It was almost like a punch in the gut," she said. "I was realizing how true the words of my parents and grandparents and the history books were. The power of these photographs was coming out. I didn't know I would be that moved. It's an exhibition about my country before, during and after the war."

"NeoRealismo: The New Image in Italy, 1932-1960" is a portrait of Italy through the eyes of 53 photographers. Organized in five chapters, it covers the Fascist era under dictator Benito Mussolini, the postwar rebuilding of a nation in ruins, the ascendancy of street photography, the explosion of cinematic narratives in print media, and the endless debates over what neorealism should or shouldn't encompass.

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