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20 December1949
Trip to London
Giorgio Aebi
Music & sound design by Økapi

The expression 'fog over the Channel, the Continent is isolated' speaks volumes about the British attitude towards Europe. A trip to London leaving from Milan on 20 December 1949 would suggest that times had changed. One already goes to Britain by airliner, a means of transport that more easily connects Britain to the continent. The Aebi family arrives in the city where BBC television broadcasts have just begun and where the treaty establishing the aims of the Council of Europe, to which ten countries belong, has just been signed. Ideally a big step towards unification, through this treaty "which opens the way to the hope of a new life for Europe. We are witnessing, for the first time on our old continent, the birth of a common democratic institution', this was the Labour government's position. But Winston Churchill, who is no longer prime minister but still a leader who won the war, when the Aebians arrive in London has just made a speech in favour of the idea of a European Union, but without specifying whether Britain should be a founding member. In short, always this dilemma of whether the British are in or out, whether they want to be in or not. Certainly they will struggle to boast about the empire, which has now collapsed. I wonder what the Aebians think of the British opening up to Europe. After filming a rather bleak and wintry London - it may be repulsive but you'd have to ask them - they fly back to Milan.