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21 March1954
Giulio Sbrighi
Music by Guglielmo Pagnozzi

A day dedicated to energy finally arriving in everyone's homes. But how does such a miracle of modernity happen? To answer the question, on 21 March 1954, Giulio Sbrighi, a mathematics and physics teacher at the Liceo Scientifico Spallanzani high school in Reggio Emilia, took his students on the same day to visit the Piacenza thermal power plant and the Cortemaggiore extraction plant. And Sbrighi obviously does not forget his 8mm camera, having already demonstrated on previous school trips the importance of making a reportage out of it. Indeed, with irony, Sbrighi reminds his students how seriously he takes this task: in the opening poster of the film by the production company 'Sbrighanti Film', the professor is portrayed with a bandaged foot. This is a reference to an accident that occurred to him because he was too focused on filming. Returning to the subject of the film, everything is documented. The coach trip to the Piacenza thermoelectric power plant dating back to the second half of the 1920s, which initially operated with steam boilers and was instead fuelled by methane gas after the war. And then a visit to the Cortemaggiore oil and methane gas extraction plant with the nearby methane pipeline connecting the plant to Turin. A few years earlier, in 1949, the first oil wells were discovered in this area, and it was from here that the 'energy adventure' embarked upon by Enrico Mattei to revolutionise the country and, in the intentions of the AGIP president, to make it autonomous by freeing it from the grip of the 'seven sisters' began. Things did not go exactly according to Mattei's plans, but the energy - and ecological - problems became more and more pressing until the present dramatic situation.