NEW YORK, Dec. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Italic Institute of America, a New York based think tank, calls filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola "the Italian Christmas Grinch" for promoting his newly released annotated script for "The Godfather." Says Senior institute analyst Bill Dal Cerro: "It's a Christmas offer which every man, woman and child should refuse."
Continues Dal Cerro: "Coppola evidently views defamation as some kind of 'gift' to the film-going public. Truly, his 'Godfather' films are the gift that keeps on giving in terms of reinforcing negative Italian stereotypes in the media. At a time when Hollywood is struggling to promote diversity, Coppola takes perverse pride in stereotyping Italian Americans in film."
The Institute created a two-minute YouTube video, "Francis Ford Coppola: Godfather of Defamation," to visualize their stance.
Says John Mancini, a fellow Institute analyst: "Coppola is no hero. In 'The Godfather, he did to Italian Americans what D.W. Griffith did to African Americans in the 1915 film, 'Birth of a Nation': He demonized them as criminal. He created a tribute to thieves and murderers."
Dal Cerro cites three reasons why the film's influence has been ultimately negative:
"1) It tainted the Italian American immigrant experience as criminal; 2) It institutionalized Italian gangster stereotypes in Hollywood, which continue in 2016; and 3) It has crushed any curiosity within a majority of Italian Americans about their heritage."
The late New York governor Mario Cuomo, whose plans for a White House bid in 1992 were short-circuited by his fear of negative Italian stereotyping, said of the film, after finally agreeing to watch it in 2014, "Even if this thing is a masterpiece, the message it sends is horrible. It says that Italians in America have absolutely no respect for the Rule of Law."
Concludes Dal Cerro: "It's clear that, after 45 years, Coppola's films are more propaganda than art. Their prejudicial influence has even spread to children's entertainment, be it animated films like 'Shark Tale' and 'Zootopia' to the current video game 'Mafia III'."
Founded in Floral Park, New York, in 1987, the Italic Institute of America is an educational non-profit which promotes the classical Italic heritage both in America and worldwide.
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SOURCE The Italic Institute of America