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1941: Italy is at war, but there are still months of optimism, victory seems close, the Regime shows his face more reassuring, glorious, and shortsighted. Despite economies, autarchy and soldiers at the front, Italians have time to fall in love with the stars of cinema, radio magazines, the dreams of Cinecittà.
In this climate, the cosmetics company GiViEmme - trinket of the noble dandy Giuseppe Visconti di Modrone, father of Luchino, friend of d'Annunzio and poet and writer in turn - launches an advertising contest, associated with a new face powder, " Velveris, a veil of spring ". The competition invites Italian women to send the true story of their life to the Turin newspaper "L'Illustrazione del Popolo". The best stories will be published and radio scripted, while an illustrious jury will evaluate which or which ones will be worthy of a cash prize and above all to be transformed into a film.
A film based on true female stories, in Italy in 1941, to liven up and relaunch Italian cinema (this was what the articles and advertisements said). It is no coincidence that Cesare Zavattini was the creator of the competition, and the jury was also composed of Alba De Cespedes, Luchino Visconti, Vittorio De Sica, as well as Zavattini himself.
The competition has an extraordinary success, the stories arrive in the hundreds, the advertising machine in newspapers and radio works at full speed, the jury meets for months, the production company is identified, until three are proclaimed, ex equo, winners. Then, everything stops. The war turns out to be very different from what was advertised, Italy is shaken by hunger, bombings, strikes. It is no longer time for dreams, for women, on the big screen.
However, the true stories of those women remain, so different from each other, and all incredibly still alive today and re-emerged from the pages of the newspapers: which we have found, read and selected. And so, eighty years later, the film was finally made.