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11 August1964
In Algeria for the revolution
Sauro Ravaglia
Musica di / Music by Francesco Serra

Enthusiasm, hope, confusion, the discovery of a revolution that is not only political and perhaps the beginning of a new era. The young militant communist barber Sauro Ravaglia - after his trip to Moscow in 1957 (whose arrival is celebrated by the film on 27 July) - ends up with his 8mm camera on a trip to Algeria organised by the young French communist newspaper Clarté, together with many of his peers from all over the world. It is the Algeria of the revolution that is turning towards Islamic socialism, amid great hopes and contradictions. Sauro, the semi-bald little man we glimpse at the beginning of these shots on the cliff, is overwhelmed by the discovery of a new world, very different from his own, which opens up to a thousand perspectives and experiences, until recently unthinkable. He finds himself swept up in the activities and passions of the 'Village de l'amitié internationale de la jeunesse' in Sidi Ferruch, on the outskirts of Algiers, in the midst of the Jeunesse du Front de libération nationale (JFLN), and later bathing in the waterfall where they had filmed the Hollywood biblical blockbuster 'Samson and Delilah'. 'And a Belgian woman bathing naked with a red kerchief around her neck asked me to run away to Mauritania together,' he recounts. But from the dream he will soon be awakened by sudden news, urgently bringing him back to Italy. We will see him again in Rome on 24 August in another film, this time about the end of an era.