1938-2018: eighty years have passed since the Fascist regime’s promulgation of the racial laws. An important and unfortunately still highly relevant anniversary. Eighty years ago the Italian people, who have not traditionally been anti-Semitic, were induced by Fascist propaganda to accept the persecution of a minority that had been living peacefully in Italy for centuries.
What made this possible? And how much do we know about that moment in history today?
1938 Diversi sets out to describe what the implementation of those laws meant for Italian Jews and how the population, both Jewish and non-Jewish, reacted to racism and persecution.
The film will show the articles, cartoons, comic strips and short films with which Jews were transformed in the space of a few months into diversi, or “different” people, and then into out-and-out enemies of the nation. It will describe the consequences for the daily life of Italian Jews following the enacting of the laws, both through the voices of some witnesses and through the reconstruction, in animated sequences, of some episodes of discrimination and humiliation. Reputed scholars will help us to look at this dramatic episode in a new light, one that can illuminate the decisive role played by the mass media in one of the most tragic examples of racial persecution in human history.