Red Brigade, Italian Terrorism

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Red Brigade, Good Morning, Night,

The Red Brigade emerged in 1968 in Italy, a time of social and political turbulence around the world. For the Red Brigades, their fight with the Italian state was the continuation of the fight that the Italian Left Wing Resistance waged against Nazi Fascism during the Second World War. Offspring of classic Marxist/Leninists, their fight was ideological, and they feared the resurgence of Fascism in Italy which they equated with the rise of Italian and European capitalism and its aging corporate leadership. Although they saw themselves as continuing the battle waged by their ancestor resistant fighters, to me, they seemed less interested in obtaining benefits for the workers they claimed to support, than in denouncing capitalism and demagoging their rigid view of a pure Marxism.

The Red Brigade sought to create and deliver propaganda that would prepare students, workers, the proletariat, and masses for “violent and systematic opposition to the bourgeois order.” (Christian Science Monitor, 1978). While the revolutionary predecessors of the Red Brigades, fought Nazism and Fascism to free Italy and Italians, Bellochio’ s movie Good Morning, Night presents a much starker and menacing Red Brigade that in 1968 lost its way as it lost its humanity according to Bellochio. Bellochio says that while ideas are fundamental to a democracy and that political debate and demonstration a virtue, the killing of a human being in the name of one’s ideals is lunacy, and reflects a lack of understanding of life, human reality, and of contemporary Italy. According to Bellochio the Red Brigades failure was the failure to recognize the complex choices in 1968 Italy, and their inability to change along with a changing Italy.

The Red Brigade were ideologues, uncompromising in their world view of a pure class struggle, and they were committed to undermine any other political view in Italy. Their uncompromising view was effective in attracting...
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