Liliana Cavani is well-known as the director of the controversial Holocaust fi lm The Night Porter (1974), which inspires the birth of the new cinematographical genre of Nazisexploitation. In order to trace Cavani’s interest on the Holocaust theme we have to come back to the early 60’s, when the young director starts working for the national broadcasting television RAI. In the fi ve years between 1961 and 1965, in fact, Lilian Cavani directs three documentary fi lms: a four-episodes serie called History of the Third Reich (1961-1962); a documentary about the divided World War II memories between two generations in post-war Europe, The Day of the Peace (1965); fi nally, The Woman in the Resistance (1965), a fi lm about the role of Italian women during the Partisan struggle, where she also interviews several Jewish Italian women who were deported between 1943 and 1945. Each one of these productions has different and specifi c modalities of dealing with the Holocaust memory. But the relevance of these fi lms lays in the fact that they represent the fi rst attempt of the Italian television to deal with the memory of the Holocaust, and this happens through the screening of both audiovisual and oral sources. Until then, no previous visual expressions have described the Italian responsability in the deportation of thousands of Italian Jews. The paper is structured by using several kind of sources: audiovisual archives, production and distribution strategies, an original interview to Liliana Cavani about her early carreer.
Keywords: Holocaust Memory, Italian Television, Liliana Cavani, Oral History, Public Memory, Audiovisual Sources