Mothers at a Loss: Identity and Mourning in La Sconosciuta and Milyang

Part of the Italian and Italian American Studies book series (IIAS)


In this chapter, Pascuzzi analyzes the relationship among motherhood, mourning, and identity in the films La sconosciuta and Milyang by looking at the characters of two mothers who are confronted by different yet equally devastating forms of loss. The chapter first establishes a comparison between the social and cultural circumstances of the Italian economic miracle and the modernization and democratization of South Korea in order to describe their influence in the recalibration of a number socially sanctioned expectations associated with motherhood and with womanhood at large, focusing on the protagonists as two single, financially independent women claiming motherhood as an extension of their selfhood, and then moves to argue that these films mobilize a portrayal of mourning in order to describe a process that not only entails the confrontation and the rationalization of a loss or a death, but more accurately entails the confrontation and the rationalization of the loss of one’s identity as a result of that loss or death.


Italy South korea Society Loss 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA

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