‘La Rivista Imperiale – Primo Annuale Dell’ Impero – Imperial Review – First Anniversary of the Empire – Part 1
Mussolini strides on to the parade ground and an Italian commentary immediately starts up. We see Mussolini awarding campaign medals to soldiers and to the widows of men killed in battle. Most of the clip is accompanied by sombre music designed to create the right mood.
Benito Mussolini was the leader of Italy. He was head of the Fascist party, similar in views to the Nazis in Germany. Mussolini’s great aim was to try and rebuild the great glories of the Roman Empire by establishing an Italian empire in Africa. In 1935 he provoked disputes with Abyssinia (modern Ethiopia) and in 1936 his modern armies invaded the country and defeated its emperor, Haile Selassie. This action provoked international outrage but no military action was taken against Mussolini.
Interesting or important points about the film
There are interesting parallels between this ceremony and the grander rallies organised by the Nazis in Germany. The desire to glorify military adventure and success comes through strongly, but so does the aim of building up Mussolini as a powerful leader but also a leader in touch with ordinary people.