The 1980s spelt both the demise of Fascism as a popular cinematic theme and the beginning of the revisionist trend, long before Berlusconi’s rise to power.1 Bettino Craxi’s government marked the union of the PSI’s neoliberal cultural shift and the DC’s traditional anti-Communist rhetoric. This set the stage for a revision of the civic religion of the Resistance that would later be picked up by Berlusconi, rebranded and packaged in an even glossier TV pulp than Craxi’s ‘court of dwarves and showgirls’.2 The neoliberal right’s emergence was compounded by the slow agony of the PCI. 3 The survival of Italy’s democracy in the 1970s – not at all a foregone conclusion – bore a hefty price for the Communists. The party compromised with the DC not along the virtuous if slightly utopian lines imagined by Moro and Berlinguer, but rather along the supremely pragmatic and often shady ones of Giulio Andreotti, who led the National Unity governments between 1976 and 1979 with external PCI support.4 By 1983, after four years of brutal fighting with the Red Brigades, more unclaimed right-wing massacres, trials, appeals, convictions handed down and overturned, mysteries and draconian Special Laws against terrorism, the BR were defeated, the student movement spent and the workers’ movement humiliated by the 1980 white-collar counter-strike at car manufacturer Fiat in Turin.
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