The storyline is centred on the story of development, from the beginning of the twentieth century until 1970, a year that we consider a symbolic watershed between how it used to be and how it is (with no way back).
Of course, the cultural area we will focus on is Italy, but we will be forced to “open” our boundaries in order to provide the right sense about how the industrial utopia spread world-widely.

The movie will be developed around the main subjects that characterized the industrial development during the twentieth century. Some of them are: the 1910s great construction works, the race for electricity to develop the great industry, the fascism and the FIAT war production, the after war reconstruction, the development of new businesses in the 1950s, the “city within the factory” with the Piedmont models (FIAT and Olivetti), the 1960s search for new alternative energy sources in Italy and abroad, until the Information Technology and nuclear power pioneers.
We will face these subjects starting from the companies and industries we have actual information and footage of, such as institutional documentaries, product films, commercials, “carosellos”, social documentaries, and we will try to cover the whole Italian country.

These are some of the most important companies we are going to deal with: FIAT (Turin), Martini&Rossi (Turin), Olivetti (Ivrea), Ferrero (Cuneo), Ansaldo, Italsider (Genoa), Breda, Pirelli, Innocenti, Edisn, Marelli, CGE Editoria (Milan), Necchi (Pavia), Montecatini (Ravenna, Marghera, Ferrara), Barilla (Parma), Piaggio (Pontedera), ex Italsider (Bagnoli, Naples), ILVA (Taranto), ENI (Basentana), the chemical plant in Priolo and Augusta, as well as the textile areas in Schio, Biella and in the Bergamo area (also called Bergamasca), the great civil construction works (highways, electric plants, subways) and the Italian work in the world, with contributions from Recchi, Impregilo and ENI (documentary signed by Bernardo Bertolucci).

The idea for this movie comes from a series of conversations between me and Sergio Toffetti, the Director of the National Business Cinema Archive (Archivio Nazionale del Cinema d’Impresa). For a long time there have been discussions about the chance to use the wonderful footage today kept in Ivrea (TO) - the famous Olivetti company home town - in order to make a movie that analyzes the concept of “industrial cinema”, which, as we know, many important authors have worked on, such as Olmi, Antonioni, the Taviani brothers, Bertolucci, and many more.

The subject we have been focusing on is one of the nineteenth century Great Ideas: progress, the concept of development without boundaries, perceived in an optimistic shape as the solution for all mankind problems, both for the capitalist and the communist spheres.
An idea – the one about “a better future” – that nowadays seems terribly far away: for this reason it is worth investigating the imaginary created by this incredible universal utopia, which has been able to imprint a whole century.

Davide Ferrario
Sergio Toffetti
Davide Ferrario, Giorgio Mastrorocco
Film Editor
Cristina Sardo
Original Music
Fabio Barovero
Vito Martinelli con Zero dB
Altri credits

Elena Testa (responsabile ricerche archivio) || Archivio Nazionale Cinema d'Impresa (Materiale di repertorio). Marzia Milanesi - Comunicazione per il cinema e Gabriele Barcaro (Ufficio stampa).

Cast and characters

- Autori dei testi citati: Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Enrico Prampolini, Ivo Pannaggi, Vinicio Paladini, Vladimir Majakovskij, Carlo Emilio Gadda, Dino Buzzati, Luigi Meneghello, Goffredo Parise, Luciano Bianciardi, Ermanno Olmi, Giorgio Bocca, Ottiero Ottieri, Ermanno Rea, Italo Calvino, Primo Levi, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Paolo Volponi. - Registi di alcuni film presenti: Dino Risi, Ermanno Olmi, Alessandro Blasetti, Mario Camerini, Luca Comerio, Nelo Risi, Giuseppe Ferrara, Ferdinando Cerchio.

Organizzatore generale
Executive production
Cristina Sardo
Davide Ferrario, Francesca Bocca, Ladis Zanini
Rossofuoco con Rai Cinema
Con la partecipazione dell'Archivio Nazionale Cinema d'Impresa e con il sostegno di Film Commission Torino Piemonte e della Regione Piemonte (Piemonte Doc Film Fund - Fondo regionale per il documentario), Società Consortile OGR-CRT (Torino), Fondazione Guelpa (Ivrea).
Microcinema s.p.a.
Voce narrante
Gianni Bissaca, Walter Leonardi
International sales
Rai Com
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Cristina Sardo | Rossofuoco
Last update: 18 November 2023