An extremely feminine Critic’s Week
by Camillo de Marco
23/07/2012 - Seven films, five of which European, have been selected to constitute the 27th International Critic’s Week (SIC) of the Venice Film Festival .
They are competing for the RaroVideo audience award and the Lion of the Future “Luigi De Laurentiis” award for Best First Film, which comprises 100,000 USD provided by Filmauro of Aurelia and Luigi De Laurentiis to be divided equally between the film’s director and producer.
The collective film Water by Nir Sa’ar, Maya Sarfaty, Mohammad Fuad, Yona Rozenkier, Mohammad Bakri, Ahmad Bargouthi, Pini Tavger, Tal Haring (Israel/Palestine/France) and Kiss of the Damned by Xan Cassavetes (USA, world premiere) will open and close the SIC.
“One of the issues raised by the recent Cannes Film Festival,” commented the SIC’s general director, Francesco di Pace, “was the lack of female presence in the official competition. We can reassure those who believe that cinema and festivals need female quotas: the strong presence of women presenting their first feature film at this year’s festival highlights the existence of a courage and expressive urgency that overcomes any cultural obstacles or political and economic censors. In the films that comprise this year’s SIC selection, four out of the eight directors (the ninth film is a collective) are women. This is not the result of an opportunistic decision: despite the major changes that cinema is undergoing, it remains a universal language that knows no limits relating to gender”.
The Italian film selected is La città ideale, the directorial debut from the actor Luigi Lo Cascio, a parable on contemporary Italy in the tradition of engaged cinema. Strong social and political themes are also found in Aly Aidin Küf’s intense film, Muffa (Turkey) and in the courageous film by Chinese director Liu Shu xiao He (Lotus) about a young teacher forced to leave her job because of her independent spirit.
Belgian director Tom Heene’s first feature Welcome Home also depicts a woman’s extremely personal quest for independence. This same exploration is expressed through the characters of O luna in Thailandia, by Paul Negoescu. Europe is also represented through the Swedish film Äta sova dö by Gabriela Pichler which tells the story of a woman who loses her job but faces her new position without resignation and full of energy. The last entirely “female” film of the selection hails from Mexico, No quiero dormer sola by Natalia Beristain: two women, Amanda and her grandmother Dolores, find themselves at a crucial point in their lives. Finally, Kiss of the Damned marks the incredible debut of a child of cinema, Xan Cassavetes.
(Translated from Italian)