Italian filmmaker and producer Fred Kuwornu, who’s on campus this week to present three of his documentary films, is also spending time lecturing in some classes. He visited Mary Sisler’s Italian 130 class on Oct. 17.
Kuwornu will present Blaxploitalian: 100 Years of Blackness in the Italian Cinema, on Tuesday, Oct. 18. It looks at the role people of African descent have played and their representation in the Italian film industry. On Wednesday, Oct. 19, he’ll screen Inside Buffalo: a historic account of the 92nd Infantry Division, an African American segregated combat unit that fought in World War II. Both will be screened at 7:30 p.m., in the Kennedy Auditorium, Taylor Science Center.
“Since we have a 'cultural competency' component in all of our Italian Studies classes, we regularly discuss the issues that Fred addresses in all three of his documentary films,” Sisler explained. Students from all Italian classes will be required to attend at least one of the screenings and Q&As this week and will also be required to write a reaction to the documentary they saw and a commentary about the discussion that followed. Kuwornu will visit Heather Merrill's Africana Studies Class today.
Melissa Demos’ Italian Culture through Film class has been discussing the immigration crisis in Italy and the challenges immigrants face in assimilating and finding acceptance in a country which up until two decades ago, was a very homogeneous society unaccustomed to issues of diversity.
“The theme of 'diversity-in-media matters' is a theme which constantly coincides with the issue of immigration and citizenship,” Sisler continued. “Fred is using Blaxploitalian to focus in on diversity issues in the media, but he addresses diversity and inclusion more broadly in all of his films.”