Stonebreakers chronicles the conflicts about monuments that arose in the United States during the George Floyd protests and the 2020 presidential election. Weaving together observational sequences and interviews done across the country, the film explores the shifting landscapes of American monumentality. It focuses on controversial statues, including that of Christopher Columbus, as they are contested and removed, as well as considering neglected landmarks that communities decide to reclaim, and brings attention to new and emerging forms of memorialization. A portrait of a nation forced to reckon with the darkest chapters of its history, Stonebreakers interrogates the links between memory, myth, and political action.

Post-screening discussion led by Joseph Sciorra, John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, CUNY.

Giorno della Memoria: A Film Screening and Discussion of Lucus a Lucendo. A Place of Light

Tuesday, January 23 at 6:30 pm

Hunter College Ida K. Lang Recital Hall, Room 424-North Bldg. East 69th St. bet. Park & Lex. Avenues (South entrance)

Lucus a Lucendo. A Place of Light (2019, Caucaso/Luce Cinecittà).

Screening and discussion with Alessandra Lancellotti and Enrico Masi. With the expression “Lucus a non lucendo,” in Cristo si è fermato a Eboli, Carlo Levi describes the landscape of Lucania (Basilicata) where the Fascist regime confined him as an enemy of the state. In the light and darkness of the desert land in which the writer imagines a “little Jerusalem,” Levi’s human and artistic gaze moves from Turin’s horizon toward workers, mothers, and children: the southerners whom the nation had conquered and abandoned. Levi’s nephew Stefano Levi Della Torre and historian Carlo Ginzburg trace the steps of his journey in the landscapes of his confinement: the director’s ancestral land.

Co-sponsored by the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute and the Consulate General of Italy

NOTA BENE: This event will NOT be held at the Calandra Institute.


Potentially Dangerous: When It Was a Crime to Be Italian (2021)

Wednesday, November 15, 2023, 6pm
Potentially Dangerous: When It Was a Crime to Be Italian (2021), 50 minutes
Zach Baliva, dir.

Potentially Dangerous presents the history of Italian immigrants interned and persecuted as America’s “enemy aliens” during World War II. The US government restricted the actions and freedoms of 600,000 Italian residents of the United States, many of whom were placed under curfew, banned from their workplaces, evacuated from their homes and communities, and even placed in internment camps. Many of these people had been in the United States for decades, had children born in their adopted country, and had sons serving in the US military. Interned Italians were not charged with a crime or allowed legal representation. They were subjected to “loyalty hearings” and held for the duration of the war. The United States government considered them “potentially dangerous” based on where they had been born. Potentially Dangerous offers the people affected by these policies a chance to give voice to their experiences and those of their families.

Film Screening at Casa Italiana

L’uomo più buono del mondo: La leggenda di Carlo Tresca (2023), 38 min.
Angelo Figorilli & Francesco Paolucci, dirs.
With Maurizio Maggiani. In Italian with English subtitles.

United States, early twentieth century. Carlo Tresca is an Italian immigrant who starts organizing major labor strikes, publishes newspaper articles in which he denounces the brutal exploitation of workers by bosses and mafiosi, wins and loses dozens of trials to defend the freedom of his ideas as well as the workers who immigrated to America from all over the world. For almost forty years the FBI considered him one of the nation’s most dangerous subversives.

Tresca comes from Sulmona, Abruzzo; he’s a trade unionist, a journalist, socialist, revolutionary, anarchist, anti-Fascist, and an anti-Stalinist—an inconvenient figure to everyone. He may want to go back to Italy to participate in the liberation of his country, but a gunshot to his back kills him one winter evening in New York. It’s January 11, 1943. His funeral in New York is celebrated by a procession of eighty cars loaded with flowers and is attended by thousands of people. Laborers, textile workers, intellectuals, artists, writers, all mourn the man who was called “the kindest man in the world.” Then silence descends upon him.

Eighty years after his death, this documentary offers a heartfelt portrait of an internationalist and Italian rebel, a Don Quixote of the last century. It does so through the words of writer Maurizio Maggiani, who converses remotely with those who, in Tresca’s hometown, have struggled to piece together and then illuminate the memory of a man “who fought against all despotism,” and “who ran to where it was necessary,” “who was able to talk to everyone, friends, enemies, poor people, intellectuals,” and “who did not shrink from anything,” “a hero who, like all heroes, met a tragic end.”

The impassioned conversation is marked by the animated re-enactment—through the imaginative work of Erick Cuevas Ulloa and the music of Giancarlo Tiboni—of episodes that marked Tresca’s life: his political upbringing among the railway workers in his native Abruzzo, his escape to New York, the historic strike of Paterson’s textile workers (which turns eventually into a memorable show at Madison Square Garden), and finally his assassination on Fifth Avenue.

Rather than questioning the mystery of Tresca’s death—which was not a real mystery after all—the documentary intends to be an invitation to explore, especially today, the example of the life of a man for whom love for freedom and for the struggle against all exploitation was the reason for his existence.


NOTA BENE: This event will take place at Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò.

24 West 12th Street
New York, NY 10011-8604
Telephone: (212) 998-8739
Fax: (212) 995-4012

Screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Angelo Figorilli in conversation with Stephen J. Cerulli, Fordham University; Alexander Stille, author; Dorothy Gallagher, author. Moderated by Claudio Gatti, journalist.

RSVP here.

Members Seat Reservation here.

Watch the trailer here.