Fernando Cerchio, 1942

Produced by Istituto Luce, this documentary film shows the eel fishing and processing techniques practiced in the Comacchio valleys. Some night sequences depict fishermen going out fishing with their boats, the tansfer of eels from the traps into the floating wicker baskets and the return to the fishing stations where fishermen, far from home, live together. Barges full of eels arrive at the processing factory – called Azienda delle Valli Comunali di Comacchio, currently re-named Manifattura dei Marinati. It looks like an assembly line: eels are first sliced, then skewered and then cooked. In the morning the church bells ring, the factory is full of casks filled with the processed eels, he barges sail once again across the canals, greeted by the village children.