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Esterno Notte: What if Aldo Moro hadn't been executed by the Red Brigades?


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Currently playing on Arte, Marco Bellocchio's mini-series Esterno Notte is about the abduction and eventual assassination of Italian PM Aldo Moro in 1978, as he was in the process of negotiating a grand compromise with the Communist Party. In the first and last episodes, the series veers into an alternate timeline in which Moro was spared, prompting the question of how differently modern Italian politics might have turned out. This, to my knowledge, is the first time such a POD is contemplated in mainstream media.

Would it have made a big difference? I read The Moro Affair (1978) by Leonardo Sciascia and know how close they were to finding him. I was inspired to write 'Judicious Pruning' about Hanns Schleyer's kidnapping/murder by the Baader-Meinhof/RAF which is in Umleitung (2014). How did they feel Italian politics would have been different? Sciascia in many of his books points to an inherent culture of corruption in Italy's institutions, so I do not feel he would have felt that the survival of one man would have altered things greatly. As with the Schleyer case, with Moro the authorities came to be just a wall away from recovering him and there are suggestions that they did not want to despite the information they had received. I know when things go wrong it is easy to have conspiracy theories and in both the Moro and Schleyer cases, the police were handling a massive and dangerous investigation as your image makes clear.