Research Seminar Series: Davide Abbatescianni (UCC) "The Cinema of PIIGS and Representations of Mediterranean Youths at the time of the Great Recession" Tues, 5 February, 10 a.m.

4 Feb 2019

Davide Abbatescianni (UCC)
"The Cinema of PIIGS and Representations of Mediterranean Youths at the time of the Great Recession"
Film and Screen Media Auditorium, Kane Building B10.B (Basement)


Since 2008, when the Great Recession struck Europe and the world, the weakest European economies – Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Spain, and Greece – have suffered from a drastic decrease in salaries, soaring unemployment rates, political instability, and the escalation of public debt. Over the last ten years, filmmakers from these countries have narrated the crisis’ consequences on ordinary people’s lives, voiced their criticisms towards the European institutions and the capitalist model. My doctoral project, which comprises the writing of a dissertation and the making of a feature-length documentary film, aims at analysing the representations of time and space in PIIGS cinema. During the first part of the seminar, I will present the scope of my doctoral project, provide a brief overview of the PIIGS filmography, and introduce my research methodology.

In the second part, I will focus on the cinematic representations of Mediterranean youths, in particular the ones displaying millennials characters classified as NEETs, namely individuals between 16-30 years of age who are not engaged in employment, education or training. I will therefore analyse three emblematic representations of NEETs in Mediterranean cinemas, namely Ina, the rebel country girl in Edoardo Winspeare's Quiet Bliss (2014); Nakos, a racist unemployed man in Yannis Sakaridis’ Amerika Square (2016); and Rocio, a troubled young mother in Juan Miguel del Castillo's Food and Shelter (2015). These three films present a number of urban and rural contexts and a complex and diversified set of personal relationships, and portray different levels of alienation and coping mechanisms. I argue that these works, and others like them, offer the portrait of a new, transnational “lost generation”, oppressed by their inner fears and the societal transformations brought about by the crisis. By engaging with Knight and Stewart’s ideas on temporality in the time of austerity, I will discuss how “temporal thought” may be seen as a shared representational strategy in contemporary Mediterranean cinemas.

Davide Abbatescianni is a PhD Excellence Scholar in Film and Screen Media at University College Cork. His research project, entitled Temporality and Space in the Time of Great Recession: A Focus on PIIGS Cinemas, comprises an academic dissertation and the making of a feature documentary. He holds a Professional Diploma in Stage Directing (International Theatre Academy of the Adriatic), a BA in Communication Studies (University of Bari Aldo Moro) and an MA in Documentary Directing (Baltic Film and Media School). He currently works as a foreign correspondent for the EU-funded film magazine Cineuropa. He is also active as a director and assistant director.

All welcome

Department of Film and Screen Media

Scannánaíocht agus Meáin Scáileán

O'Rahilly Building University College Cork Ireland