Did you know there is a "Little Italy" in England? That in the 1950s hundreds of Italian men were recruited to work at the London Brick Company in the town of Bedford, in the East of England? And that, to this day, Bedford is home to the largest concentration of Italians in the United Kingdom, with more than 20,000 people of Italian descent residing in the town?
The history of the Italian community in Bedford has been documented in two films, England may be home (1957) and Focus on: Bedford (1966). The first, England may be home, takes a lighthearted and comedic approach to the challenges faced by those settling in a new country. The second, Focus on Bedford, follows the life of a family in what is described as the ‘self-contained’ Italian community in England. Both films shed light on issues of integration, identity and acceptance that remain relevant in the present day.
Sponsored by the Center for Italian Studies, the film screenings will be held at the Debartolo Performing Arts Center, Browning Cinema, and introduced by Maria Videtta, MA candidate in Italian. The screenings will be followed by a Q & A.