Maternal Ambivalence in Contemporary Italian Cinema

  • Bernadette Luciano
  • Susanna Scarparo
Part of the Italian and Italian American Studies book series (IIAS)


In this chapter, Luciano and Scarparo discuss Alina Marazzi’s Tutto parla di te (All About You, 2012) and Cristina Comencini’s Quando la notte (When the Night, 2011), two films that focus on women who struggle to reconcile the expectations of motherhood with the conflicting emotions they experience as mothers. While many scholars have defined this conflict as ‘maternal ambivalence’, the Italian philosopher Adriana Cavarero, proposes an alternative notion, that of ‘maternal inclination’. While inclining or leaning over her helpless child, the mother must make the choice of whether or not to provide care. Applying Adriana Caverero’s notion to their analysis, the authors highlight how the two films’ protagonists are able to reimagine mothering through female support networks and a genealogical understanding of maternal strength.


Alina Marazzi Cristina Comencini Ambivalence Maternal inclination 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.Monash UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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