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26 December1930
Fondo Museo Tirano
Music & sound design by Margherita Parenti

What is Scotsman James Henderson doing on 26 December 1930 in India, in the state of Madhya Pradesh, apart from filming a market, fleeing monkeys and, above all, elephants? The almost 50-year-old Henderson could be here to enjoy a well-deserved holiday or on business: all things considered, India is still one of the most prestigious British colonial domains and well worth a visit and a 16mm shot. And although this footage is flawed, it is still an interesting document. But we know very little, except that Henderson is an executive of Cucirini Cantoni Coats, which was formed by the merger of Fabbriche Italiane di filati Cucirini, based in the Lucca area, and the Scottish F.P. Coats of Paisley, his home town. Henderson has gravitated to Italy for a long time, is married to a German woman, lives in Milan, where he is co-founder of the first Italian Rotary Club, and owns the splendid villa 'Le fontane' in Azzano (Tremezzina), with stunning views of Lake Como. When things went wrong with the British in Italy because of the war, he took refuge in Switzerland. Some say that Mussolini on the run in April 1945 sought contact with Henderson to hand himself over to the British. But he was caught right near Henderson's villa. However, it appears that Sir James Henderson was neither his brother nor his cousin - as is sometimes reported - and was not related, not even remotely, to Neville Henderson, ambassador in Berlin at the outbreak of the Second World War. That the Duce was misinformed? Well, the good James could have offered him tea accompanied by a screening of 16mm home movies and some tales of his adventurous travels. That tea with Mussolini would also have been an(other) story to tell...