Lotte in Italia (1971) Script


Who is it? What's happening?

In the history of human knowledge the laws of development have always been viewed in two ways.

One is metaphysical and the other dialectical.

So there are two ways of viewing the world - idealism and Marxism.

I am Marxist. I am part of the revolutionary movement.


After the meeting organised by comrades from Monte Mario the police arrested three ML activists who were handing out leaflets in support of the just cause of the Palestinian people against Israel, the lackey of imperialism.

Now these three comrades are accused of conspiring against state security.

But who is conspiring and against whom?

The state is conspiring against the Italian people.

To be attacked by the enemy is a good thing.

Let's popularise the popular struggle against imperialism.

Let foreigners act as nationals.

When revolutionaries analyse the war of the people the bourgeoisie takes fright.

It realises that analysing the war of the people will serve to turn their weapons against it, against its state apparatus its police and its army.

I know the Communist Party has held meetings on Lenin before but the revisionists need stirring up sometimes.

Gas is very important for the Russians. It replaces petrol.

They've signed an agreement with Eni, a state-run firm.

For Soviet revisionists it's an economic struggle to get established in Europe.

The class struggle will be forgotten.

The failure of spontaneity at Fiat.

Agreement in the steel industry. We hope for a calm winter.

Politics governs the economy. The revolution governs production.

A real victory for the steelworkers.

A mild winter, a real victory.

A mild winter, a real victory.

Between Marxism and revisionism there is a continual hard struggle where political and economic ties are concerned.

The university.

The same old story.

The real crux of the matter.


I ask you for practical explanations but you refuse to give them to me.

A king decides to appoint a prime minister and appeals for applicants.

Do you see the problem? Why a king appointing a prime minister?

Why not militants appointing a shop steward?

It's not as simple as that.

I've got to go. Let's discuss it on Tuesday.


A sweater.

No, I think I need a shirt.

It's a best seller.

30,000 lire for a peasant blouse?

Look at the work.

Are you interested in this book? Yes.

I know the people who wrote it.

If you like, we can go and discuss it with them.

No talking to the customers!




You should be studying instead of talking to your friends.

They're comrades.

While you wait for your revolution you're happy sleeping and eating here.

You're taking advantage of me and your mother.

All right, Mum. I'll keep quiet.


When you argue with your father, it makes me anxious and ill.

There are doctors for that.

I can ask my university friends for the address of a psychoanalyst.


Leave me in peace.

If you want a bathroom then get a job to pay for a flat.

A true Communist has to put the revolution first, before their own interests.

You don't know what you're talking about, you old fool.


I've told you time and again not to touch my things.


It's the 15th and we've run out of money already.

I promise we'll make an effort next month.

I'm sick of living with other people.

Listen, we'll talk about it tomorrow. I'm too tired tonight.


Violence in the factories.

Workers in the streets.

Identity papers!

Identity papers!




That's me.

Are you Paola Taviani? Then it's your turn.

One ticket for a student, please.

Do you have a student card?

Well? What happened?

That wasn't really me you just saw.

It was just bits of me.

It wasn't the real me, just a reflection.





What's happening? Your life divided under headings, like a university subject, all part of a whole.

You realise the whole is imaginary. You wonder how it works.



The imaginary whole, the conditions of your existence, the relationship between them, what does it mean?

What did I say at the start?

I said, "There is, there is."

There is Marxism, there is idealism.

But I didn't say that Marxism was fighting idealism.

What else did I say?

A metaphysical conception and a dialectical conception have given rise to two opposing conceptions of the world.

Opposing conceptions.

They were opposing. That's what I had forgotten.

So I called myself a Marxist but in fact I was still an idealist.

There are two conceptions of the world.

To find out why they are opposing you need to know how they work.

Yes, the first part worked with reflections of you separated by black screens.

Black screens.

Black screens.

Who produced these black screens?

Black screens.

What is this black screen replacing?

What links your reflections to these black screens?

You discover that the first part was an organised whole centred under the heading: society.

The relationship between the black screens and the images of you stems from there.

That relationship has a name - ideology.






The real conditions of your existence.




Black screen.







Necessarily imaginary.


The real conditions of your existence.

Necessarily imaginary relationship with the real conditions of your existence.


Function of ideology.

Daily, uninterrupted reproduction of the relations of production in the consciousness

In other words...

In other words, adjusting, organising, your practical behaviour in society.

Today in Italy, the function of bourgeois ideology.

Every day ensuring

the uninterrupted reproduction of the relations of production in the consciousness.

In other words, organising your practical behaviour in Italian capitalist society.

People's social existence determines their thoughts.

You know Marxism is not about explaining the world but about actively transforming it.

Practice, theory, practice.

Here are the books you asked for.

Practice. Practice.


Everyone experiences the work of organising.

It's easy for you. You don't work.



You give maths lessons to a young worker.

He asks you a question.

Attempt at a theory.

You listen to the question instead of telling him to be quiet.

But return to practice.

You don't know what to say to him.


You live with a boy. You ask one another questions.

Theory. You look to Engels for the answers.

"The first division of labour is between men and women

"at the time of procreation."

Failure of practice.

You talk about sex as something in itself.

You haven't understood or examined Freud and in an attempt to make love better you do it in the afternoon.


When you have nothing to do you make love in the afternoon.


We have time to make love in the afternoon.

We should ask ourselves why and when we ask ourselves why we should also ask against what?

In fact it's a privilege, because factory workers can't do it.

If they can it's because they work nights and it's much less good during the day.

It's a privilege of class.

We should fight that too.


Criticism of your practice.

You no longer talk about sex in itself.


Changing one's thinking. Changing one's social existence.

You decide to make your militant practice the centre of your transformation.



You decide to go to the factory. A step forward or a leap in the dark.


You're in the factory to bond with the working class.

Theory. Theory comes from practice.

You think the factory will help you understand the class struggle in Italy.

What's happening?

You're part of the production process so you think you're going to produce a fair political line.

But how did you become part of it?

By chance.

Perhaps politically, but to what extent?

Practical result: theory becomes impossible.


Instead of bonding with the masses you distanced yourself further.

Function of ideology.

Black screen.

People's social existence determines their thinking.


The foreman tells you to go faster.


"Paola, you've been given a job to do. Please keep up the pace."

Your colleagues ask you to think of their bonuses and not just of yourself.



Produce an understanding.

Produce an understanding of the concrete situation.

Your concrete situation.



You think being in the factory gives you a more righteous political line.

But it's not that simple.

Consider your concrete situation.

Consider that in your struggle there comes a time when theory becomes the main task.

Here today in Italy carry out a concrete analysis of your concrete situation.


We are a couple, the unity of two opposites.

A couple struggling against the bourgeois notion of couples which develops spontaneously.

So a couple fighting itself.


The struggle of a bourgeois couple to become a revolutionary couple.

A long struggle between two political lines between two political practices.

In this struggle there are stages.

The unity of opposites can break down at any one of them and lead to antagonism.

For example, I'm leaving you.

Moving to the next stage for us could be having a baby, for example.

The bourgeoisie is waiting for us to do that.

As long as it's just the two of us it will tolerate us.

With a baby it will tolerate us even more because we will form a family and so become part of the bourgeoisie again.


To become a revolutionary couple we need to move onto the next stage.

Practice transformed.

Lead an active struggle against the bourgeois ideology of the family.

The struggle begins when we conceive.

It continues when I'm pregnant.

It transforms first when the child arrives and then again after it is born.

It's a problem of political education for you, for me, for the child and for us.

It's true that we're in a class society and it's true that the bourgeoisie is in power and so it's true that our struggle by that fact has its limits and that it needs to be part of a much wider struggle.

It's only through revolutionary action that this struggle will develop.

Revolutionary practice.

When I say I love you I'm deferring a concrete analysis to transform our concrete situation.

There comes a time when theory becomes a practical task.

This moment is reached through knowledge of revolutionary struggles.

Revolutionary theory.

Produce knowledge of revolutionary struggles.



You discuss the masses and criticism. So did we yesterday in a tract.

But is it the same?

Revolutionary practice.

I've been thinking. Let me explain.


Explain the world to understand it?

No, to actively transform it.

Now the practice is transformed.

In the first part of the film I said, "Forget it. We'll talk about it tomorrow."

In the second part of the film I saw that I was on the wrong track and that I had nothing to say to him.

I thought my going to the factory like he does would bring us closer.

It wasn't that simple.

I can answer him now because I understand my own situation.

Realising people's social existence determines their thoughts means discovering the contradictions of my social existence.


Ideological struggle.

Discovering that a unity is made up of contradictions.

Discovering with Marx that when the contradictions stop life stops and you die.

Discovering that contradictions are both universal and specific.

In maths, the contradiction between plus and minus.

Positive and negative electricity.

The combining and dissociation of atoms.

The contradiction between the poor and the rich, the oppressed and the oppressors, the intellectuals and the workers.

Any divergence in human conceptions must be considered as reflections,

reflections, objective contradictions.

Objective contradictions reflected... reflected in subjective thought form the contradictory movement of concepts stimulate the development of ideas and resolve the problems facing human thought.

Third part of the film.

Reflections like the images from the first part of the film?


Having criticised the notion of reflections at the start of the second part I later realised that notion didn't come from bourgeois ideology but that it was the mechanism central to all ideologies.

The problem is not the problem of reflections in itself but of the struggle between a reflection which denies objective contradictions and a reflection which expresses them.

The struggle between bourgeois ideology which wants the world to remain as it is and revolutionary ideology which wants to transform it.

Third part of the film.

With elements from the second part reconsidered through the mechanism of the ideology which is at work in the first and second parts of the film.

Third part of the film.

To repeat what I've just said but, since it's a film, to say it with images and sound.

Third part of the film.

Research, work, struggle.

Programme for the struggle.

Third part of the film.


Something has changed.

Something has changed for me since the first part of the film and because of the second part.

Measure this change.

Start from what I said in the second part.

I said, "People's social existence determines their thoughts."

And I said, "The objective contradictions form the contradictory movement

"of the concepts."

Start again from there.

Consider how my thoughts relate to the conditions of my social existence and what defines it.

Today in Italy that means capitalist relations of production.

So now I must situate my discourse between two shots of relations of production.

Relations of production.

Situate my discourse.

Capitalist relations of production.

Situate my discourse between two shots of capitalist relations of production.

Why this black screen in this series of images?

Where does my discourse come from?

It comes from my relationship with what preceded the blackness and also with what will come afterwards.

So from considering my relationship with the relations of production today in Italy.

Now, with that in mind, let's reconsider part one of the film.

In the first part of the film there was a black screen.

Now a workshop, an image of the relations of production.

In the first part of the film after this black screen there was a shot of me buying a sweater.

And then another black screen.

But now it's a factory that we see, showing the relations of production.

In part one, for example, instead of a factory there was blackness and a voice saying "family".

And now we see a factory, so a production relationship

and me eating with my family.

What meaning does this image from the first part take on now that it's set between two shots of relations of production?

To answer that, to question the mechanism of ideology in the first part of the film, we're going to take another example.

The university.

In part one there was a black screen and a voice announcing, "The university."

That voice, the one you can hear now, gives a lesson on the history of science.

It's the voice which calls me into the exam.

It's the voice of the teacher or porter, of the university apparatus, the voice of the state in the university sector.

An ideology is always expressed within an ideological, material apparatus which organises things materially according to a practical ritual.

Here I am at university.

I listen to a lecture, then I take an exam.

For that to work I must admit that I belong to this ideological apparatus.

I'm a student so I acknowledge that I am a university subject.

When the voice calls me into an exam, I will obey.

My name was called. I recognised it. I obeyed.

That's how things worked.

That's how I worked.

But let's listen to that voice.

Let's listen to the language.

It talks of right and wrong ideas, ideas in themselves without saying where they come from.

This voice doesn't talk about the real conditions of existence and scientific practice.

This voice confirms that people's thoughts are not determined by their social existence.

It's the voice of idealism. It's fake. It lies. It leaves you in the dark.

I challenged that voice.

But in relation to what?

In relation to my militant practice.

In the first part of the film my life was a conflict.

Here I oppose the teacher, the agent of the ideological state apparatus of the university.

Here I oppose my father, also an agent of the ideological state apparatus of the family.

And here the police, the most obvious agent of the state apparatus.

So, a conflict between various practices.

A conflict between me sitting an exam, thus obeying bourgeois ideology, and me seeking to fight against it.

The result of that conflict.

Me in the first part of the film teaching a lesson to a young worker.

But what am I actually doing?

I repeat to a comrade what our common enemy at the university said.

We experience the victory of bourgeois ideology, him in his place, me in mine, him a worker, me an intellectual.

There you have it.

In my practice I maintain non-stop the reproduction on a daily basis of capitalist relations of production.

Today in Italy, how the bourgeois ideology works.

Maintain the reproduction on a daily basis, non-stop, of relations of production in the consciousness.

That means, organising the material behaviour of all the agents of the various functions of capitalist social production.

Part three of the film.

Now that we've understood what happened in part one of the film we take from part two an example of the beginnings of a victory over the bourgeois ideology.

Instead of a black screen show relations of production which didn't feature in part two.

In spite of this black screen my discourse has started to change.

For example, as far as sex is concerned.

The long petit-bourgeois struggle to become a revolutionary couple.

What I'm saying now is quite different to what I said and did in part one.

Then I said, "I'm tired. Kiss me. We'll talk about this tomorrow."

Now I talk about two political lines, two political practices.

In part two of the film I changed a bit.

Part three of the film.

Part three of the film.

Measure change and, in measuring it, change some more.

More relations of production, still in the same sequence of images.

Me, between two shots of relations of production.

Think about it.

My image, still between two shots relations of production, shows that this change is relative.

Explain this relativism. Start with these relations of production.

Capitalist relations of production.

Relations which establish society as a capitalist society.

Bourgeois ideologies which organise people's behaviour, my behaviour, in a capitalist society.

Ideologies vary according to areas.

These areas are mostly autonomous but interlinked.

There is one which is definitely the most important, one which determines the life and history of the other areas.

All areas of bourgeois ideology maintain the permanence of capitalist relations of production but under the direction, the direction, of this decisive juridico-political area.

Decisive area.

Juridico-political state ideology.

Change of decisive area.

Political activity.

Revolutionary political activity.

Justified revolutionary political activity.

Destruction of the state apparatus and its juridico-political ideology.

How can we resume all that?

In the first part of the film there were contradictions between bourgeois ideology and my militant practice.

The bourgeois ideology amounted to more and my militant practice to less.

In short, the more had an impact on the less.

In the second part of the film there are still contradictions between bourgeois ideologies and my militant practice.

But what was less, my militant practice, became more.

My militant practice attacks the decisive areas of the ideology.

And with that attack it shakes all the foundations of the ideological edifice that makes me who I am with repercussions that vary according to the area.

Here there was a bourgeois discourse when I told him I wasn't able to reply.

Here the discourse is more righteous.

It is a discourse which fights and transforms itself.

I talk about joining a wider struggle.

I talk about campaigning in a more righteous way.

To conclude, what does a change in my ideas depend on?

To conclude, what does a change in my ideas depend on?

It depends on a change in the determining area of bourgeois ideology and so of my revolutionary militant practice.

Changing my life and transforming myself means deepening the contradictions between my militant practice and this dominant area of bourgeois ideology.

Bring the class struggle into my life.

The class struggle.


Consider subjectivity in terms of class.


Become militant.

Fourth part of the film.

Today in Italy militant action by me, an actress, on Italian television screens.

How to talk on Italian television.

Against whom?

On behalf of whom?

Who was on this screen before me and who will come on afterwards?

In a word, who does Italian television belong to?

Italian television belongs to the state.

Today that state is Avola, Battipaglia.

Christian Democracy.

Tomorrow it might be the Social Democrats and after that...

Yesterday and today the state is Agnelli, Costa, Pirelli.

So, every day a state representative must talk to the Italian people

and denounce farm workers, factory workers and their allies who are joining the struggle to respond to the daily violence imposed on them.

Deciding to change that means joining the revolution.

It means thinking differently to join the revolution.

For me, taking a small step forward means, for example, on Italian TV speaking for four or five minutes in a different way.

I was told I could choose a drama or a documentary to tell my story and I had that right because we live in a democracy.

My story is like every story told here every day, the story of a boss, the story of Fiat, the story of a factory worker.

So I've told my story.

Or rather, it was told for me.

That was the first part of the film.

The bourgeois story of a bourgeois girl that events have transformed.

A bourgeois girl grappling with her militancy, a bourgeois girl contradicting herself, a bourgeois girl who can't tell where right and wrong ideas come from, who can't resolve her contradictions and who does not know what to do.

Then I had to stop and start the second part of the film.

I realised I had to stop talking about myself.

I realised I had to stop talking about myself and start analysing things.

I needed to work out why I wanted to talk about myself.

And then what came into my discourse was the reality of my ideas, the reality that produces my ideas.

In other words, the reality of Italy.

But what is to be done with that? Something transformative or nothing?

I said, "People's social existence determines their thoughts."

But for that righteous idea to become a material force I know I need to take another step forwards.

I indicated the direction in the third part of the film but it's a difficult path.

What I said is at best an indication of the work, of the struggle, of the work, of the struggle, of the work, of the struggle, of the work, of the struggle, of the work and of the struggle.