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28 November1956
The little refugee
Giuseppe Bernabè
Music & sound design by Alessandro De Lorenzi and Giulia Cosentino

On 28 November 1956, a group of Hungarian refugees arrived in Ravenna. They are mostly students, office workers and peasants, as well as a few children and teenagers, who have fled Budapest, where the revolution of the month before was smothered by Soviet tanks. Two hundred thousand insurgents flee. Three thousand refugees find rescue and hospitalitỳ in Italy, mainly thanks to the efforts of the Red Cross. And three hundred and eight are the refugees in the reception centre set up in the Colonia di Marina di Ravenna, in the very place where this 8mm reel was shot. In fact, the first shot is dedicated to the establishment, and to the Red Cross insignia, and then to the pine forest, where smiling young men and women walk, joke and scoff in front of Giuseppe Bernabè's camera. The filmmaker is among the volunteers who have been active in supporting and helping the Hungarians, and now films them. Some of them carry pennants. In Bernabè's small series of portraits, almost as an interlude, there is the appearance of two little girls on the seashore, smiling. On the right is Marcella, Bernabè's daughter, the star of so many of his films, and on the left a little blond girl with pigtails, whom he had just met. This reel is dedicated to her, the little refugee: "Elisabetta November 1956" the filmmaker has written on a piece of paper, for future reference. Elisabetta as it is written, Elisabet as she will be remembered, or perhaps Erzsébet (who knows if this is the original name, it doesn't matter) will be hosted by the Bernabes, and her friendship with Marcella, born on the seashore and witnessed by the camera, begins right now.