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What Is Left?

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Is the concept of “left” and “right” a thing of the past? Frustrated in their hope for a shift to a more equal and progressive Italy, Luca and Gustav decide to find out why Italy is such a persistently right-wing country – and what it still means to be on the Left today.
On their quest to look back to what Italy used to be, they also look through their own family history. Luca grew up in a communist family at a time when Italy had the strongest communist party in Europe, while Gustav is from the conservative area of South Tyrol.


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Running Time: 74 min.
Subject(s): Author's POV, Current Affairs, European History, Personal Story, Politics, Society
Language(s): English, Italian
Subtitles: English
Director(s):
Producer(s): Gustav Hofer, Luca Ragazzi
Production Company: HIQ Productions

Festival & Awards

  • Hot Docs Festival, Canada - 2014

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  • Longer Synopsis

    What happens when a country loses its political identity? Is the concept of “left” and “right” a thing of the past?

    Filmmakers Luca Ragazzi and Gustav Hofer, frustrated in their hope for a shift to a more equal and progressive Italy, decide to find out why theirs is such a persistently right-­‐wing country – and what it still means to be on the Left today.

    As they set off on their quest they also look back to what Italy used to be, through their own family history. Luca grew up in a communist family when Italy had the strongest communist party in Europe, while Gustav grew up in the conservative mountain area of South Tyrol, far away from any leftish ideals, until the Green Party was born.

    They lead the audience through the most significant moments of recent Italian politics, following the election campaign of two young MPs, participating in a surreal TV quiz show, talking to intellectuals and visiting local party branches.

    In their own personal style, the two directors, makers of two previous successful films (Suddenly, Last Winter & Italy: Love it or Leave it) try to make sense of Italian politics and society in an ironic and entertaining way, and, beyond Italy, to find out, “What is Left?” in the 21st century.

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