23 February 1943


Giorgio Aebi
Music by Guglielmo Pagnozzi & Francesca D'Alessandro

It appears hot, February 1943 in Milan. In the garden, the Aebi family performs magic tricks for the camera. Ermanno and Giorgio, father and son - both professional footballers - plus a third boy, possibly another son, present themselves as magicians in front of the small applauding audience. In reality, it is more of a Méliès illusion than prestidigitation: it is the editing cuts that create the magic, that make handkerchiefs, vases and children disappear. And magic is needed, in that February, in order not to look at what is happening in the war, and at the crisis of increasingly weak and cruel fascism. That same month, Milan was hit by heavy allied bombardment: the main factories, Alfa Romeo, Caproni, the tobacco factory, the milk and telephone plants, the railway yards and tram depots were damaged, as well as hundreds of civilian homes. There were 133 dead, 442 injured and almost 10,000 homeless. Better then to improvise as illusionists and make what is too heavy to see disappear, and it doesn't matter if instead of a theatre, magic is performed in a tool shed. By now, everywhere is a madhouse.