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08 October1942
Apple picking
Ermenegildo Boccafogli
Music by Marco Melilli

A film like this, pale Afgacolor 16mm, makes visible a moment of everyday life and apparent peace, which however takes place in a dramatic context. It is 8 October 1943, we are on the outskirts of Ferrara and apples are happily being harvested, between one joke and another a small group of women is portrayed, named one by one, a child playing with a dog, two men including the farmer, "Mistroni (he who sows reaps)". Just the day before, 34 anti-fascists, opponents of the Regime and Jews were arrested in the town. This was followed by the arrest of a further 72 people taken from their homes, towards mid-November, following the killing of the Federal Commissioner of the Republican Fascist Party (PFR) in Ferrara, Igino Ghisellini. On the 15th of that month, ten of those arrested were shot in retaliation, right in the centre of Ferrara, in front of the Estense Castle. An episode, that of the long night before and the massacre, which would be recounted in a story by Giorgio Bassani, from which Florestano Vancini would make a famous fictional film. Here, the story around the film about the apple harvest cannot be separated from the out-of-framework of that historical moment. And yet, the dramatic time of those war days overlaps with the time of other human activities, whether filmed or not. (When the Americans arrived, the more garish and stable colours of Kodak would prevail).