The Italian cinema of the 1970s was confronted with a reality of unprecedented gravity and complexity. The 1970s in Italy were the so-called ‘Years of the Bullet’. Bombings, assassinations, secret masonic lodges plotting to subvert the democratic order, neo-fascist groups executing civil servants – policemen, magistrates – in the streets, planting bombs in public spaces with the aid of powerful officers of the secret services, and communist terrorists kidnapping and murdering servants of the state, like the Prime Minister Aldo Moro in 1978.
The Italian cinema of those years was brave in its attempt to explain and reconstruct the shocking events that terrorized the country; events that politicians always refused to speak about, and that long trials mined by cover-up operations never managed to unravel.
During the 1960s and 70s, Italian filmmakers Mario Bava, Riccardo Freda, Antonio Margheriti and Dario Argento developed horror films that become classics and influenced the genre in other countries.
Between the late 1970s and mid-1980s, Italian cinema was in crisis; “art films” became increasingly isolated, separating from the mainstream Italian cinema.