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06 May1941
Nursery School
Olivo Oliviero Mario
Music by Alessio Ricci & Mix audio Pierpaolo Ovarini | Biennio di Musica da Film del Conservatorio di Musica di Bologna

Oliviero Mario Olivo and Eletta Porta are the parents of Chiara, the five-year-old girl who, together with her classmates and her teacher, is filmed by her father with a 16mm camera from the Histological Institute of the University of Bologna where he works. The two, before getting married, had been students together in Turin of Professor Giuseppe Levi, Natalia Ginzburg's father. In 'Lexicon of the Family', the writer fondly remembers them as a pair of inseparable assistants, always called together, 'Olivo and the Door'. But let us come to these beautiful sequences, among the many shot by Professor Olivo, a lover of mountains, photography and amateur cinema. It is 6 May 1941, springtime. Chiara's class is taken out of the classroom and nursery school, to a farm and through the fields, to discover the world. We recognise Chiara when framed because the names of all the girls (and Lorenzo, apparently the only boy) are sewn on the pinafore, at chest height. The teacher makes the girls play, and then they all sing together. It is spring, flowers are exchanged, the bucolic atmosphere suggests peace. Instead, a world war is going on, which of course is neither seen nor suspected in these images. Yet Italy too has been in the conflict for a year now, but the world of these little girls is safe, for the moment.