Using previously unpublished material from the L'Unione Cinematografica Educativa (LUCE) archive and the Central State Archive in Rome, this article examines how film-making became part and parcel of the process of 'taming' nature in the Pontine Marshes under Mussolini's regime. Fascist authorities perceived the undisciplined and unproductive nature of the 'death-inducing' swamps as something that had to be extinguished from the face of Italy, to make way for an ideal fascist nature that would nurture ideal fascist subjects. We argue that the success of transforming the swamps owed as much to the extensive investment of labour power, capital, and technology, as it did to the careful staging of every step of the project through cinematographic representations. Although planning and land reclamation institutions were responsible for the material production of the reclaimed land, the LUCE institute was instrumental in actively turning this new land into the ideal fascist landscape. In so doing, the paper offers a new reading on landscape and nationalism explored through an analysis of the production of landscape in Italy under Mussolini.