Whether this iconic film set was created for propaganda purposes or not (“Il cinema è l’arma più forte” -Cinema is the most powerful weapon), it still is the location for some of the most popular movie sets in history. This quote has now made me well paranoid that my hobby is brainwashing me? Who knew that by chilling out on my sofa watching the latest Zom Rom Com, I’m actually allowing Mussolini himself to brainwash me!
Movie buffs will know Cinecitta best for the production of La dolce vita, Romeo And Juliet (swoon), Gangs of New York (meh), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Passion of the Christ and even Doctor Who’s been there to name just a few (the Pompeii episode) !
But it’s not just movies that have been made there, it’s been a really important part of our real life human history too. The studios were bombed during World War II (big deal i hear you say, loads of places were bombed, but wait up, there’s more) and so between 1945 and 1947, the studios of Cinecittà were used as a displaced persons’ camp for a few years. Around 3,000 refugees lived there. Imagine if there’s ever another world war and we all end up living in some massive American film set or Albert Square, Waldord (i’m putting my name down for living at the Vic).
After the war the studios were used once again and in the 1950s, Cinecittà was the filming location for several large Americal film productions like Ben Hur.
In addition to its important purpose of housing people in need of shelter during the war, the studios were also used by Pink Floyd who performed a few nights at the studios in September 1994. You’ll have noticed it more recently as the set for the Italian Big Brother.
I wonder what Mussolini would have made of that?