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13 August1977
Verdi Square
Vittorio Zappoli
Music by Carlo Simoni & Lapo Boschi

Bologna, 13 August 1977, the university area is deserted. Months have now passed since the student uprising and repression, and cinematographer Vittorio Zappoli patrols the university area with his Super8 camera to fix in colour the 'signs' left behind. In fact, the 1977 movement left very visible signs in the urban scenario: writings, slogans, murals. Zappoli, who is a worker and 29 years old, films this empty stage, mindful of a memory from March before when, passing through those streets at night on his way to work by car, he found himself facing a tank sent by the Minister of the Interior. The unreal atmosphere of that memory and the fright experienced contrast with the colourful explosions trapped in these stills. It is therefore no coincidence that in the Super8 Piazza Verdi is introduced by the close-up of a no trespassing road sign with 'Territori Selvaggi' (Savage Territories) spray-painted on it and an arrow pointing to the square. The square now appears quiet, with the appearance of a few passers-by. A zoom in explores Arnaldo Pomodoro's totems, coloured by students. The stone pillars delimiting the pedestrian area have also been painted. Next is a detail of the Bar Goliardo, former headquarters of the feminist movement, walled up by the authorities. Above the walled-in entrance the ironic and bitter inscription in red paint: 'The Wailing Wall'. We move on to the murals on Via Zamboni and Via Belle Arti, under the Academy portico. It is these images and the symbolic inscription 'Alice' that unleash the movement's libertarian vocation (against all forms of power and authority, including that of the national and city PCI) and offer the colour of the movement to the university area (those wild territories that for a short time were a city apart). Alongside Dada-inspired slogans (such as 'No to steaks, yes to sacrifices. We are artists, let's eat paint'), wall paintings with allegories of power, satirical drawings depicting politicians, authority figures and the city's iconic masks (Dr Balanzone), self-representations of metropolitan Indians and icons of feminism (accompanied by the slogan 'I am mine'). The film closes with footage in the courtyard of the Faculty of Political Science in Strada Maggiore (with the sign 'Covo-là' mimicking the slogan 'Covo qui, covo là, cova tutta la città' and the notice of a meeting held in June 'Donne venite tutti'). Zappoli's Super8 patrol walking through the empty city is even more impressive if we look at the sequences of the clashes and demonstration after the death of the student Lorusso (killed by the police) filmed from the window in mid-March by Ballarini. It all seems suspended, and abandoned perhaps forever, but it is only summer: in September, with the big international conference against repression, the university city will be crowded again.