Dalla parte dell’Altro

“Siamo italiani”, di Alexander J. Seiler

  • Alessandro Marini Palacký University Olomouc
Parole chiave: Documentary, Emigration, Modernity, Economic Boom, Swiss Cinema


In Siamo italiani (1964) Alexander J. Seiler observes the substantial migratory process that induced hundreds of thousands of Italians - driven by the desire for economic and social promotion - to German-speaking Switzerland after the Second World War. The representation of the urban landscape, reconstructed according to an anthropological oppositional scheme, is pivotal in Seiler's film. In this landscape the local community redefines its territory according to the Other; at the same time, the immigrant crosses the space as in an endless journey of discovery, marked by alienation, desire and incomprehension. Thus, the geography of Siamo italiani becomes a metaphor: an open space, in which to redefine the collective experience and identity. Thanks to both the reconstruction of the context and external contributions - Max Frisch's position on the migration process and Seiler's work - but also thanks to the analysis of large sections of the film, this essay aims to highlight the director's approach to the problems of migration, the breadth of his gaze, his hermeneutic ambition.


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