The destruction of the abbey means the end of illusions. The people were helpless witnesses to the violation of an inviolable symbol. The film, shown on a large screen to the accompaniment of Verdi’s Dies Ire, shows the shock and the harsh reality of the ruins.

The strength of the film lies in the point of view of those who witnessed the attack from inside the abbey. After the devastation, there is silence: in the desolation, the ‘Symphony of the Bells’ from the 4th movement of Malipiero is heard.

In front of the screen, illuminated by rays of light, an olive tree appears with its roots exposed, uprooted from the ground, a symbol of the sense of being uprooted experienced by the civilian population. In the background, groans and the sounds of pulling, twisting and distorting can be heard. A leaflet dropped by Allied planes warns the population to leave the abbey before the bombing.

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