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31 May1940
First Triennial Exhibition of Italian Overseas Lands
Ermanno Acanfora
Music by Guglielmo Pagnozzi

Naples, 31 May 1940. The Acanfora family barely made it in time to visit the First Triennial Exhibition of Italian Overseas Lands. Inaugurated by the King on 9 May for the anniversary of the proclamation of the Empire and intended to remain open until the autumn, it was instead to close in mid-June, following Italy's entry into the war, and was then bombed and severely damaged, undergoing - this gigantic architectural work built on over 1 million square metres in the Campi Flegrei area and with 36 pavilions - rehashes and structural modifications that would change it forever. A destiny that would also belie the assumptions of a "panoramic and synthetic review of the achievements of Italian valour and work in Africa" that would "document the entire complex of political, social, economic and cultural activities with which Fascist Italy was preparing to make our Overseas Lands a luxuriant source of wealth and power of the Homeland". The Acanforas come from Piano di Sorrento and are completely unaware of the dark future that awaits the Exhibition (and the whole of Italy). They are enjoying the moment and Ermanno films with his 9.5 mm camera: he is at his first trials but he will be a compulsive filmmaker until the 1980s, filming literally everything... With this film he gives us beautiful panoramic views of the exhibition and especially of the spectacular Exedra Fountain, inspired by the monumental fountains of the Royal Palace of Caserta.