Vittorio De Seta: A Retrospective

Jun 24–30, 2006


Vittorio De Seta was born into a noble Calabrian family in Palermo, Sicily, in 1923. The director soon moved to Rome (where he continues to reside) and studied film in the 1940s, breaking away from the official cinema in the 1950s with a series of acclaimed documentaries made in Sicily, Sardinia, and Calabria. Characterized by beautiful color, keen observation, and ambient soundtracks without narration, these works depict the customs of rural Italian laborers and families. De Seta went on to make formally unconventional dramatic films that reflect a strong social commitment. Two highlights of the exhibition are Bandits of Orgosolo (1961), De Seta’s award-winning first feature-length film, and the US premiere of Diary of a Schoolteacher (1973). All films directed by Vittorio De Seta and in Italian, with English subtitles.

Organized for The Museum of Modern Art by Sally Berger, Assistant Curator, Department of Film and Media, in collaboration with The Flaherty Seminars, The Italian Cultural Institute of New York, Progetto Cinema Sud di Italia Internazionale (Direzione Generale Integrazione Europea Ministero degli Affari Esteri), Cineteca di Bologna, Cinecittà Holding, and RAI – Radio Televisione Italiana.


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA’s Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].