07 January 1962

First Steps

Luciano Osti
Music by Guglielmo Pagnozzi

At the Giardini Margherita in Bologna, a child takes his first steps held on a leash by his mother. They are little Paolo and Biancarosa, the son and wife of Luciano Osti, a talented filmmaker who, in addition to documenting the city's post-war urban transformations with rare constancy, obviously films family life. And he captures a controversial habit, apparently born in the 1930s, which then spread with mixed fortunes and was quite fashionable in the years of little Paolo's growing up. A habit that shows excessive restraint and control, lending itself to strong criticism ('children are not dogs'), or a way that facilitates little explorers of the world in safety, much better than the pram? The debate is open, as the leash has been back in use lately. Who knows what Biancarosa must have been thinking as she walked with her son on that 7 January 1962. Perhaps she must have had in her head the tune of the song Bambina, bambina by Tony Dallara, which the night before had triumphed at Canzonissima with 713,842 votes out of a total of 3 million. Or Nata per me, by Adriano Celentano, which came second, with the doubt, on the part of many, that it would have deserved more.