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The Great Call (Il Grande Appello)

An extraordinary example of Fascist Cinema, Il Grande Appello “celebrates” Italy's conquest of Ethiopia and such virtues of “Manhood” as courage, duty, self-sacrifice, honor, and physical strength. The film actually played in Italian Cinemas in New York as late as 1939, when it was reviewed by the New York Times in these terms:

“(Director) Mario Camerini... has done a first-class technical job.

“But the scenes of battle between Italian invaders and natives defending their country are hardly likely to be good propaganda for Fascism with persons inclined to favor the ‘underdog.' The sight of airplanes, tanks and all sorts of modern implements of death being used against the poorly armed Ethiopians makes one wonder that the latter held out as long as they did.”

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