by Giovanni Vento
Country: Italy
Year: 1966
Duration: 103'

With an easygoing, realistic Naples as a backdrop, a mosaic of events that recount the life of a few “children of the Madonna,” young people born in the post-WWII period from illicit relationships between local women and Afro-American soldiers. Vento's debut film, one of the best examples of the Italian nouvelle vague, was never distributed and was forgotten after its preview screening in Berlin in 1967. Recovered thanks to the National Cinema Museum of Turin and the director's daughter, Emilia Vento, it is now presented in a restored, digital version made by the Cinema Museum and Compass Film.


film director

Giovanni Vento

(1927-1979), documentary filmmaker, critic, and film historian, over the course of his career has always been interested in representing black people in film. His reflection culminated in two different yet complementary works, the fiction feature film Nero (1967), presented at the Berlin Film Festival but never distributed in Italy, despite the support of intellectuals and filmmakers (in particular Carlo Lizzani), and the book Cinema e Africa nera (published by Tindalo in 1968), which Vento created and edited, and which was written by Joy Nwosu (who was in the cast of Il nero), a critical text that denounces the stereotypes and the more or less conscious racism in the way people of color are represented in film.


I misteri di Roma (coregia Libero Bizzarri, Gianni Bisiach, Mario Carbone, Angelo D'alessandro, Lino Del Fra, Luigi Di Gianni, Giuseppe Ferrara, Ansano Giannarelli, Giulio Macchi, Lorenza Mazzetti, Enzo Muzii, Piero Nelli, Paolo Nuzzi, Dino B- Partesano, Massimo Mida, doc, 1963), I bambini di Napoli (doc, cm, 1964), O' balcone (doc, cm,1964), Il nero (1967), Africa in casa (doc, cm, 1968).


film director

“This is a film about young people, in which the problem of skin color becomes a mere pretext for reaffirming the age of its protagonists. Or better yet, to make sure that the young people in the movie are “young” two times over. First, because they're twenty years old; second, because they are black, because black Italians (and not, for example, Americans or Africans) born during the occupation are the first blacks in our history.”


& Credits

DIRECTOR: Giovanni Vento. SCREENPLAY: Lucio Battistrada, Franco Brocani, Giovanni Vento. CINEMATOGRAPHY: Aiace Parolin. FILM EDITING: Roberto Colangeli. MUSIC: Piero Umiliani, with Leandro "Gato" Barbieri (sax) and Laura Betti (voice). SOUND: Sandro Occhietti, Fausto Achilli, Franco Pacella. CAST: Regina Bianchi, Andrea Checchi, Bianca Doria, Alessandra Dal Sasso, Joy Nwosu, Orchidea De Santis, Mario Monaco, Silvano Manera, Gianfranco Transunto, Sennuccio Benelli. PRODUCTION: Filmgroup.

CONTACTS: Museo Nazionale del Cinema, Claudia Gianetto gianetto@museocinema.it