Holocaust Documentary Screening ‘I Only Wanted to Live’ Kicks Off Viva l’Italia!

Viva l’Italia! Series celebrates 150th anniversary of Italian unification

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I Only Wanted to Live, a documentary by Mimmo Calopresti, opens RIT’s Viva l’Italia! Series commemorating the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy.

A screening of the noted Holocaust documentary I Only Wanted to Live kicks off the Viva l’Italia! Series at Rochester Institute of Technology. The public is invited to attend a free showing of the film at 8 p.m. March 18 in the Carlson Auditorium.

Viva l’Italia! celebrates the cultural, artistic and historical significance of Italy through a series of films, lectures and panel discussions featuring some of the most prominent figures in Italian cinema, philosophy and music. The series runs from March to May and commemorates the 150th anniversary of Italy’s unification as a single country on March 17, 1861.

The 2006 feature I Only Wanted to Live, directed by noted modernist filmmaker Mimmo Calopresti and produced by Steven Spielberg, chronicles the Holocaust as experienced in Italy, from the racial laws Mussolini enacted in 1938 through the German invasion in 1943 through the liberation of Auschwitz in 1945.

The film, which features interviews with nine Italian survivors of Auschwitz, was nominated for best documentary feature at the 2006 David di Donatello Awards, Italy’s version of the Academy Awards.

I Only Wanted to Live is an honest and essential portrayal of one of the most important periods in modern Italy and is an excellent way to begin our discussion of the nation and its people,” notes Elisabetta D’Amanda, Italian program coordinator in RIT’s Department of Modern Languages and Culture.

Following the screening, D’Amanda will lead an audience discussion. For information about additional Viva l’Italia! events, go to rit.edu/cla/vivaitalia.