Barbed Wire and Mandolins

Barbed Wire and Mandolins

| 48 min

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This documentary introduces us to Italian-Canadians whose lives were disrupted and uprooted by seclusion in internment camps during the Second World War. On June 10, 1940, Italy entered WWII.
 Overnight, the Canadian government came to see the country's 112,000 Italian-Canadians as a threat to its national security. The RCMP rounded up thousands of people it considered fascist sympathizers. Seven hundred of them were held for up to three years in internment camps, most of them at Petawawa, Ontario. None were ever charged with a criminal offence. Remarkably, the former internees are not bitter as they look back on the way their own country treated them.

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Barbed Wire and Mandolins, Nicola Zavaglia, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

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  • director
    Nicola Zavaglia
  • producer
    Sam Grana
  • executive producer
    Don Haig
  • script
    Sam Grana
    Nicola Zavaglia
  • cinematography
    Serge Giguère
  • sound
    Marcel Fraser
  • editing
    Hannele Halm
  • sound editing
    Serge Fortin
    Nathalie Fleurant
  • mix
    Shelley Craig
    Geoffrey Mitchell
    Nathalie Fleurant
    Hannele Halm
  • narration
    Mark Trafford
  • music
    Logistica Atmospherica
  • participation
    Antonio Capobianco
    Andrea Cimichella
    Anita Cocomile
    Fernanda Colangelo
    Tony Danesi
    Benny Ferri
    Sina Ferri
    Osvaldo Giacomelli
    Attilio Girardi
    Dan Iannuzzi
    Mary Lou Melillo
    Domenico Nardoccio
    Eugene Pavan
    Dora Scozzafave
    Laura Pancaro
    Anna Dieni

  • abookguy

    my published letter in G&M March 7,2012) re Can's WW!! human rights stain=an intelligence failure re alleged fascists; better re mobsters by James R Dubro on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 6:56am · Historical stain The internment of more than 600 Italian Canadians during the Second World War was not entirely “a dark chapter” (Shining Light On A Dark Chapter: The Internment Of Italian Canadians – Arts, March 6). The documents that had to be filed on each internee and signed by government officials and civil servants make it clear that the Mackenzie King government's original aim was to imprison Italian Fascist Party members and Italian gangsters. But government documents show they often deliberately erred if there was the slightest intelligence that a proposed internee was either a Fascist or supporter of Benito Mussolini. Many innocent people were arrested and interned because of serious lapses in intelligence (notably the case of wealthy contractor James Franceschini). The intelligence on organized crime was a bit better researched, as the RCMP had made a list of the top gangsters in Ontario just before the war started. But the fact that many internees such as Mr. Franceschini had no connection to fascism or the mob was not only an intelligence failure but a stain on Canada's wartime human-rights record. James Dubro, Toronto

    abookguy, 7 Mar 2012
  • alegriherencia

    Thank you Canada, and thank you Nicola. this theme is never addressed. Enjoy it here, it is beautifully written and filmed.

    alegriherencia, 11 Jan 2012

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