Civitella Ranieri invites you to the lecture ‘Scenographies of Surveillance: The British Intelligence at Cinecittà, 1944-45’ by Director’s Guest in residence, Noa Steimatsky.

What happens to a “factory of dreams” in a time of total war? My research on Cinecittà —the Fascist-built movie studio on the outskirts of Rome— has unraveled a mind-spinning, hitherto suppressed history, often stranger than fiction. During and after the Second World War occupying armies, prisoners of war, partisans, war criminals, intelligence agents, and refugees from the world over crossed paths in the studio soon to gain fame as “Hollywood on the Tiber.” Working with documents discovered in the UK National Archives, this talk will unravel the practices of British intelligence who set up camp in Cinecittà after the liberation of Rome to interrogate and surveille top-brass Nazi prisoners. I’m particularly interested in how their strategies resonated with cinematic practices: scripting, staging, role-playing, and montage, scenographic devices, props, and flashbacks. What perspectives do these open onto the scene of surveillance and our understanding of media?

Thursday, August 18 2022
Welcome cocktail at 6:00pm
Presentations begin at 6:15pm
Please RSVP to