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11 June1934
After-work Trip
NicolòLa Colla
Music by Guglielmo Pagnozzi

In June 1934, while people in Rome are distracted by celebrations for the Italian national football team that has just won its first World Cup, in the north-east of the country a group of post-war workers visit World War I memorial sites and admire new war gems that foreshadow future conflicts. Sicilian journalist Nicolò La Colla lives and works in Turin from where he often travels for work and leisure, always carrying his faithful 8mm camera. On 11 June, he is travelling with his friends from the Dopolavoro Aziendale SIP (Società Idroelettrica Piemontese) from Venice, 'the queen of the Adriatic', to the battlefields of the Karst. "At the 'cemetery of the asphyxiated at Sdraussina', we commemorate the approximately 7,000 soldiers who fell on 29 June 1916 under the effect of enemy gas, then we move from the tombs of Monte San Michele to Redipuglia, in the rain amidst crosses of various sizes and old cannons, to pay homage to the Duke of Aosta and 'his thirty thousand undefeated' (indeed all dead and buried, but in a few years they will find an even more monumental location than this). At the next stop, at the church of San Giovanni di Duino, the torpedoes are waiting to depart. An inscription on the war memorial warns: "Respect the field of death and glory." At the mouth of the Timavo the last stop before reaching Trieste where the sun finally shines. From Piazza d'Unità d'Italia one can see the large sign of the "Mostra del mare". Looking up into the sky is the passage of an aeroplane to be filmed. Docked at the harbour are warships that make quite an impression. La Colla is always very careful to capture the details of the landscape, but then he too gets distracted by the girls in the group and we see him in front of the camera conversing with them. For Nicolò these are his last weeks as a bachelor, joking a little doesn't hurt, perhaps to lighten up a little after so many filmed graves and respected notices. The last sign announces 'a bit of refreshment after the long journey': friends in the swimming pool, whirlpool baths under a strong jet of water and on swings, games with rings and rest sitting in the shade. After all, 'respect for death' is after work....