The children get involved, react, propose, invest their own history, start living in and out of the classroom again, during trips around the area with the teacher, the "maestro". The program improvised by the teacher then highlights their intelligence, their inventiveness, their rigour, and their ability to work collectively...
Vittorio De Seta is best known as the director of Il mondo perduto (testimony to the popular cultures of the endangered southern Italy, 1954-1959) and Banditi a Orgosolo (political fiction on the condition of Sardinian shepherds, 1961). ). In 1971, he began the production of Diario di maestro (Journal of a schoolmaster) in a school in Rome's suburbs, with students - mostly sons of immigrant families - in their own role, and an actor from the South, Bruno Cirino, in that of the maestro. The shooting of the film lasts four months. The four episodes of the film, about one hour each, are broadcast on Italian television in 1973. They are seen by 20 million viewers and spark a debate about the school nationwide.