Scuola Senze Fine – School Without End: Italian Women and the 150 Hour School Diploma Course
Led by Rose Gibbs
For this meeting we watch the film Scuola Senze Fine (School Without End), 1983, directed by Adriana Monti in collaboration with students from the 150 Hour Secondary School diploma course.
The 150 Hours Courses were an educational experiment implemented in Italy beginning in 1974, available to factory workers and farmers initially, and expanding to include women a couple of years later. The courses were non-vocational; they were not intended to improve one’s productivity at work, but rather to allow for personal and collective growth. The courses sought to help workers reflect not only upon their working conditions but also on their lives.
Scuola Senza Fine shows how the experiment extended into the lives of women taking the course, most of whom were housewives. The film was produced in collaboration with these students as part of their studies for the class, turning the curriculum’s questions about the representation of women into questions about the representation of themselves. Director Adriana Monti put together a group of amateur women to make the film. The group of former housewives had completed a 150-hour secondary school diploma course in 1976 and did not want to stop learning after it ended. With the help of their teacher, they formed a study and research group. Monti shot the film about them from 1979–1981, with the first half of it being made collectively by the group.