The bluest eyes


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Many south Italy’s towns, and specifically Napoli, were strongly bombed during world war II: more than 30.000 military and civilian, died.
After the liberation of whole Italy, the reconstruction started-up very slowly, and the general condition were really drammatic: the industrial machinery were unuseful in general, many people unemployed, while igienic and urbanistic condition were very drastic.
American povisional government and its newly minted coin, the “am-lira”, contribuited to inflaction increase and black market develope, while a large part of the active population seemed to have a moral and psicological let up: the allied forces occupation stopped the war, but its started and increased up the distance between population and public istitutions.
“Marshall plan” gave the oppurtuninties to italian government to consolidate the democratic system, though the forbids to create a government with the communist party: but most of the money incomed were used for the north industrial machinery, and just ten per cent flowed down to south italy; export were preferred to internal market and heavy industry to small sized.
A study of UDI (Italian Women’s Union) in 1946 proved that sickness, poverty and illitteracy stroke poorest population and children in particular: indigent condition pushed towards misery hundred tousands people.
In this contest many Catholic and non Catholic associations were born and much more activities were held to help needy population.
Carlo Lizzani contemporary films such as “Nel mezzogiorno qualcosa è cambiato” show us how a large part of south Italy was completely left to its ows destiny, but reminds is the positive action of various indipendent groups too.
Meanwhile political parties went get better organised waiting for the first free election, Italy appeared such divided between monarchic and republican fronts too. referendum’s results show us a country divided by geographical area: in the north and center italy population preferred democracy, while large part of south declared its trust to monarchy; anyway republic won 12.7 millions to 10.7 millions and thanks to one million and half non valid votes king umberto ii left italy for portugal declaring a general gerrymander.
In this contest full of turmoils a group of young communists founded the “comitato per la salvezza dei bambini di napoli” (naples childrens salvation committee): the participants were: mario alicata, director of the newspaper “La voce”, Enrico Altavilla, Luigi Auricchio (at that time director of university pediatric clinic), Francesco Cerabona (transport minister in the provisoral italian government), the writer Luciana Viviani, Gaetano Generali (president of the economic center for southitaly credit), Francesco Scaglione (local director of education), the publisher Gaetano Macchiaroli and many others like Maurizio Valenzi, major in Neaples during the seventies.
Thanks to a certain press opposition to this action many monarchic people looked warily at the committee and boycotted the “salvation travels”, but through strong relationship with of UDI and others local organizations the transfer of more than 12.000 children aged 5/12 years was possible between 1947 and 1949.
These travels started up from different town (Cassino, Roma, and others) but in Naples a very large number of people join the committee and its action. destination towns were everywere in north Italy but emilia romagna was the most generous and, many mewspaper wrote about, the land “born to gave shelter”.
The committee met with the strong opposition of the roman church, for political and social reasons, and of the monarchic front, but finally was possible to act in agreement with the second: after a travel towards Emilia the “pachiochia”, a popular monarchic leader, look at the condition of the host families and the neapolitan children in and gave sincerely her support to committee.
From a political point of view, in Viviani opinion, the committee action arises from a politic propaganda concept with the intention to break the monarchic front, but become much over, touching the sensibility of workers, families and childrens that come back home more clean, smart and italian language speaking: a great humanitarian event that involved thousand and thousans italian families just few years after wwii end: many people took an opportunities to change their life. It’s up to the actress Marina and Angela Pagano, the Roman singer Lando Fiorini, but many simple FIAT worker living in turin like the funny “Pachialone”.
A strong episode in Italian history, an event that’s still non easy to speak about for many of the protagonists: a way to took up political action in a different manner.


Directed by:
Subject: Simona Cappiello
Editing: Manolo Turri dall'Orto
Animation: Marino Guarnieri
Actress: Ilaria Vitale
Voice off: Natale Ciravolo
Voce over: Nunzia Schiano
Mentored by: Comune di Napoli, Comune di Modena, Fondazione Valenzi, Film Commission Campania
Production: Fondazione Gerardo Chiaromonte, ParteUtile, La città del sole
Language: Italian
Running time: 46 minutes

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