Borsalino City (2016), 78 minutes, Enrica Viola, dir.
In Italian with English subtitles.
Borsalino City tells the story of the iconic hat and its relationship to Hollywood movies. The legend originated in Alessandria (Piedmont region) when Giuseppe Borsalino began manufacturing hats in 1857. Over the initial years the hat-making empire split in two, as Borsalino clan factions formed and rivalled each other, fighting via advertising, commercial films, and manifestos. The companies merged again just in time for the film industry to transform Borsalino hats into potent and coveted symbols of twentieth-century middle- and upper-class masculinity. Over the course of the century, society’s relationship to hats changed and with it the destiny of Italy’s most famous hat-making firm.
Post-screening discussion led by Anthony Julian Tamburri, John D. Calandra Italian American Institute.