When on Saturday 2 August 1980 at 10:25 a.m. a bomb exploded in the waiting room of the Bologna train station, millions of people were on holiday, many were travelling, and tragically among them were the victims of the massacre, the largest ever on Italian soil in peacetime. I am at the seaside with my family, in Fano, in the Marche region, the birthplace of a grandmother I have never met, where uncles and cousins live. We are on the beach, in the morning, playing in the waves on a windy day, when my uncle arrives shocked, bringing the news heard on the radio of a bomb in the station of my city, Bologna. The games of a 8 years boy we see in this Super8 suddenly stop. It is an unprecedented thing, which disorients me and takes away my words. I only know the bombs from my father's memory: they are those of the war of his memories, of the terror of the sirens, of the collapsed roof of the house, of the shrapnel found on the kitchen table (and then preserved, for memory's sake), of the unrecognisable corners of the city (here where once instead of the pizzeria there was the Teatro del Corso). But now this bomb has what to do with it? Back in Bologna by car a few days later, for weeks, without ever going to the station, I would ask the people I met: did you see the smoke? Did you hear the blast? Do you know anyone who was left under the rubble? And nothing will ever be the same again in my wounded city. We will be custodians of memory, generation after generation, even we who were the children at the beach in Super8 (like so many other children in so many other Super8s). Every 2 August, we are always here waiting for the verdict of a trial and a historical reconstruction of events that does not hide responsibility. In the meantime, the world has changed completely and so have we.
Of 1980, I remember the bomb, the change in the family of the old Cinquecento for the new Panda (because we have to support national industry and the Italian economy), the old Rubert television set that we continue to keep: the images of the destroyed station are in black and white, I envy my classmates who draw cartoons in colour, while by now I am a wizard of pencils and sketch Goldrake in chiaroscuro.
Another Super8, filmed by tourists passing through the station on the morning of the bombing, ended up in the trial. It is a family film but also much more: a testimony, perhaps even a piece of evidence; a fragment of memory for a space and time forever wounded.