Unfinished Business: Screening the Italian Mafia in the New Millennium

By Dana Renga

© 2014

Unfinished Business is the first book to examine Italian mafia cinema of the past decade. It provides insightful analyses of popular films that sensationalize violence, scapegoat women, or repress the homosexuality of male protagonists. Dana Renga examines these works through the lens of gender and trauma theory to show how the films engage with the process of mourning and healing mafia-related trauma in Italy.

Unfinished Business argues that trauma that has yet to be worked through on the national level is displaced onto the characters in the films under consideration. In a mafia context, female characters are sacrificed and non-normative sexual identities are suppressed in order to solidify traditional modes of viewer identification and to assure narrative closure, all so that the image of the nation is left unblemished.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 264 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.7in x 9.0in
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SKU# SP003704

  • PUBLISHED AUG 2013

    From: $26.21

    Regular Price: $34.95

    ISBN 9781442615588
  • PUBLISHED DEC 2013

    From: $30.56

    Regular Price: $35.95

Quick Overview

Unfinished Business is the first book to examine Italian mafia cinema of the past decade.

Unfinished Business: Screening the Italian Mafia in the New Millennium

By Dana Renga

© 2014

Unfinished Business is the first book to examine Italian mafia cinema of the past decade. It provides insightful analyses of popular films that sensationalize violence, scapegoat women, or repress the homosexuality of male protagonists. Dana Renga examines these works through the lens of gender and trauma theory to show how the films engage with the process of mourning and healing mafia-related trauma in Italy.

Unfinished Business argues that trauma that has yet to be worked through on the national level is displaced onto the characters in the films under consideration. In a mafia context, female characters are sacrificed and non-normative sexual identities are suppressed in order to solidify traditional modes of viewer identification and to assure narrative closure, all so that the image of the nation is left unblemished.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 264 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.7in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    Unfinished Business is a thorough, well-researched, and well-executed study… Renga’s insightful and scrupulous analyses will surely generate plenty of new debates in Mafia studies, as well as in film, cultural studies and number of other disciplines.’


    Lara Santoro
    Journal of Modern Italian Studies , February 2015

    ‘There’s no doubt that Renga’s volume is essential reading for scholars of both Mafia films and Italian cinema more widely.’


    Pasquale Iannone
    University of Toronto Quarterly vol 84:03:2015

    ‘Renga’s film choices are spot-on, and offer a wide variety of Mafia themed films from the new millennium... It is refreshing to find a scholar so conscious of film, gender, and gender theory.


    Ryan Calabretta-Sajder
    Italica vol 92:04:2015

    “Renga has already firmly established herself as a leading expert on Italian Mafia film narratives and documentaries with the foundational Mafia Movies: A Reader.  Her latest, Unfinished Business is an innovative, expertly conceived and executed study that will surely generate new debates in various fields of study.”


    Robin Pickering-Iazzi, Professor, Department of French, Italian, and Comparative Literature, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

    “Written in a lively and engaging tone, this provocative and highly original work makes an important contribution to Italian film studies.”


    Aine O’Healy, Department of Humanities, Loyola Marymount University
  • Author Information

    Dana Renga is an associate professor of Italian at The Ohio State University. She is the author of Unfinished Business: Screening the Italian Mafia in the New Millennium (2013) and Watching Sympathetic Perpetrators on Italian Television: Gomorrah and Beyond (2019) and has published extensively on Italian cinema and television.
  • Table of contents

    Introduction: Gender, Trauma and Recent Italian Mafia Cinema

    Chapter 1: Oedipal Conflicts in Marco Tullio Giordana’s I cento passi

    Chapter 2: Honor, Shame and Vendetta: Pasquale Scimeca’s Placido Rizzotto

    Chapter 3: Mafia Woman in a Man’s World: Roberta Torre’s Angela

    Chapter 4: The Mafia Noir: Paolo Sorrentino’s Le conseguenze dell’amore

    Chapter 5: Men of Honor, Man of Glass: Stefano Incerti’s L’uomo di vetro

    Chapter 6: The Female Mob Boss: Edoardo Winspeare’s Galantuomini

    Chapter 7: Melancholia and the Mob Weepie: Davide Barletti and Lorenzo Conte’s Fine pena mai: paradiso perduto

    Chapter 8: Mourning Disavowed: Matteo Garrone’s Gomorra

    Chapter 9: Recasting Rita Atria in Marco Amenta’s La siciliana ribelle

    Chapter 10: Trauma Postponed: Claudio Cupellini’s Una vita tranquilla

    Epilogue: Why Must Caesar Die?

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