For fans of Erik Gandini’s sensational documentary, Videocracy (which is now playing festivals worldwide), this new Time magazine article is a worthy read. Of course, it only scratches the surface of what’s going on in Italy as a result of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s influence on media, but consider it a good primer for when you watch or re-watch Videocracy. From the piece:
“Berlusconi changed the culture of Italy before he changed the politics of it,” says Alexander Stille, author of The Sack of Rome, a book on Berlusconi’s power tactics. “He introduced a culture of luxury and sex, one entirely different from the traditions of austerity promoted by Catholicism and the communists. His control of commercial television meant that he is the only politician in the world who helped create and shape his own electorate before it elected him.”
An even better historical overview on Berlusconi’s rise to capture Italy’s media minds, can be found in Michael Wolff’s September column for Vanity Fair. Check out these insightful articles, and try to catch Videocracy at a festival or film society near you (who knows if it will achieve traditional distribution in America).