Film, director provide perspective on African-American and Afro-European communities
November 2023 – Drew University recently screened the Oscar-longlisted short film Il Moro and spoke with the director, Daphne Di Cinto, in a Q&A.
The event was presented by academic departments of Africana Studies, English, Film Studies, French and Italian, Humanities, and Women’s and Gender Studies, as well as C.I.A.O., Drew’s student-run Italian club.
The film tells the story of Alessandro de’ Medici, first Duke of Florence, who was born to a servant of African descent.
Di Cinto, known for playing Sarah Bassett on the Netflix series Bridgerton, created Il Moro as a way to bridge the gap between the African-American and Afro-European communities through Medici, a key figure in European history.
“I would love for students to walk away with a richer awareness of the presence and contributions of both ancient and contemporary Afro-Europeans, and maybe be curious about their stories, which have been hidden in plain sight for centuries,” said Di Cinto.
Charlotte Reing C’24, president of C.I.A.O., was one of the many students who came away impressed.
“I found it to be a really valuable perspective on the Afro-Italian experience. Italian studies is one of my majors, and I find that in Italian media Afro-Italians are extremely underrepresented. In Italy’s current political climate Di Cinto’s film is incredibly important in re-establishing not only the current existence of Afro-Italians, but a rich historic one that has previously been swept under the rug. From the perspective of my other major, art history, this film is also crucial in bringing to light this same story as it now changes the perspective from which we are looking (which is extremely male and euro-centric).”
Learn more about the film Il Moro here.