17 February 1931

À propos de Nice

Famiglia Buratti Zanchi
Music by Guglielmo Pagnozzi

In Nice on 17 February 1931, everything is ready for the famous carnival mardi gras. The mild climate of the Côte d'Azur welcomes the tourists and in this amateur film the textile industrialist and former member of parliament Vittorio Buratti Zanchi, filmed in the first scenes as he exits a luxury hotel accompanied by two women in satisfaction. The three are staying at the famous Hôtel Negresco. We are on the Promenade des Anglais and the camera lingers on the Palais de la Jetée-Promenade built on the sea, an iconic seaside building that sadly would be demolished in 1944 by the Germans who used its metal as an entrenched camp to prevent the Allied landings. In 1931 this scenario seems far away and the future for now seems to be just the imminent parade of floats through the decorated streets and squares. Will the placid anticipation of the upper-class tourists be satisfied by a parade in keeping with the high society dinners announced by the posters? Speaking of Nice, it is the same city, the same Carnival time, the same rituals, the same tourists masterfully portrayed only a year earlier by Jean Vigo and Boris Kaufman in one of the masterpieces of avant-garde cinema. Only our Italian tourists are missing.