Joy of life and light-heartedness in this snowball fight. We are in Bologna at Christmas time, Saturday 28 December 1940 to be precise, and the Olivo family, reunited with relatives for the festivities, takes advantage of the heavy snowfall to romp in the courtyard. Oliviero Mario, a professor of medicine at the University of Bologna, married to Eletta, has two children, Franco and Chiara, aged 6 and 4 respectively, the youngest and wildest in the playful battle. Snowballs so contagious that they attract the attention of neighbours and passers-by who stop to watch from the other side of the gate. While Olivo films in 16mm, at normal speed and in slow motion, to render even more the emotions of the moment of a group of happy people. Italy has only been at war for a few months but no one yet knows what awaits them in the years to follow. Or perhaps they don't think about it, here the bombing is still a long way off. The War Bulletin issued on this day by the General Headquarters of the Armed Forces states that 'on the Greek front, enemy attacks have been repulsed by our decisive reaction', but the Greek army has penetrated Albania and firmly holds the border area: Mussolini resigns himself to requesting military aid from Germany, while Hitler sends his Christmas present to Churchill: fireballs over London in what will be remembered by the British as 'the darkest hour'.