San Donato Milanese (Milan), 7 February 2012 - Once again, this year Eni is to be a Special Partner of the 7th "Los Angeles Film, Fashion and Art Fest" to be held at the Chinese 6 Theatre in Hollywood from 19 to 25 February. The event aims to promote contemporary Italian and international cinema, along with selected exponents of the cultural, crafts and costume industry.
A remastered version of the special documentary trilogy “Africa, birth of a continent", from the Eni historical film archive, will be screened during the event. The three films, directed by Gilbert Bovay in 1968, are entitled: "The legacy of the past", "The bitter fruits of freedom" and "History of an experiment."
The first part of the trilogy examines the political situation in the 1960s, in a number of large African countries following independence. From Nigeria to Ghana, from Zambia to Kenya, Africa once again wants to speak in the first person, and to build its own path to democracy. The desire for independence and sincere aspiration for freedom, however, soon end up restoring those oligarchic powers economically tied to the "legacy of the past." A prime example is given by the detailed examination of the Biafran conflict between Igbo and Hausa ethnic groups.
The second episode of the investigation deals with three countries, Ghana, Guinea and Tanzania, which have chosen the socialist route, either on independence or later. It is these countries that point the finger at the European colonial states, whose constitutional and political models they have also refused. For Sekou Toure, President of Guinea, and Julius Nyerere, Tanazanian Head of State, the Cuban and Chinese models, respectively, are more valid. The politicians interviewed explain the reasons for their decisions and their issues.
After taking into consideration in the second part a number of socialist experiments, the third episode examines two countries, the Ivory Coast and Senegal. In the first, the liberal regime of President Houphouet Boigny – which has enabled the country to double its per capita income and acquire an industrial structure, despite the fact that the country's economy continues to be controlled by whites and notwithstanding the failed attempt to create an African entrepreneurial class – has triumphed. In the second, the political outlook is that which President Leopold Sedar Senghor in an interview described as African 'humanistic' socialism, able to combine independence, economic growth and individual well-being.
Eni's involvement in cinema dates back to the company's origins, when Enrico Mattei decided to establish a film office. Today, the historical archive contains over 2000 mostly unreleased films and a total of 5000 audiovisual units, produced by some of the most prestigious names in the world of cinema, such as Bernardo Bertolucci, Gillo Pontecorvo and Alessandro Blasetti.
With regard to the film and entertainment sector, Eni is also committed to restoring, cataloguing and promoting its cultural heritage, ensuring its preservation over time and its dissemination to the public. An excellent example of this commitment relates to the restoration of the documentary "La via del petrolio", produced in 1967 by Bernardo Bertolucci, at the request of Eni, in his early twenties.
Eni also supports numerous film initiatives, such as the African, Asian and Latin American Film Festival, which takes place every year in Milan. This is an important event for lovers of films from the "southern hemisphere", and is the only festival in Italy entirely dedicated to promoting the cinema, current affairs and cultures of Africa, Asia and Latin America.