Liliana Cavani’s feminist message at the Venice Film Festival

Heyafter collecting the statuette from the hands of the muse Charlotte Ramblingthe ninety-year-old director wanted to send a strong feminist message: “There are many good professionals, we must see them”

The first female director to receive a Golden Lion for life at the Venice Film Festival: For Liliana Cavani The most coveted recognition came at the age of 90 and when she found herself raising the statuette, amidst applause, she showed all her fighting spirit and determination and intelligence that distinguish her, not limiting herself to thanking, but speaking to the world.

“I am the first woman to receive this awardI think it’s not entirely fair – said Cavani, eliciting applause and cheers from the audience that filled the Great Hall – There are female screenwriters and directors who probably they work just as well as men if we give them a chance to be seen. I think the Festival should think about that, and also think that women can make good films.”

“I am the first woman to receive a lifetime award – the director continued – the exhibition has been around for many years, a balance is needed in this sensebecause there are many women who work in cinema as directors, screenwriters, very good ones and I hope that this principle will continue over time.”

The director who received the award from the hands of the president of the Festival Roberto Cicuto and the actress Charlotte Rambling, his muse and star of the cult film ‘Night Porter’, then thanked her and left the stage to a standing ovation. And although someone pointed out that his statement is not entirely correct – in 2020 he was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement Ann Hui On-WahChinese director from Hong Kong – the inaccuracy does not detract from the deep meaning of Cavani’s speech: in the 80-year history of the Venice International Film Festival, only two female directors have received the Lifetime Achievement Awardagainst 78 men.

From the Oscars to Cannes, the directing awards go to a handful of women

Evidence that highlights the lack of balance, despite the lack of talent. As Cavani underlined, in the world of cinema there is no lack of female excellence, but they are often not seen and the reversal of this trend has only in the last decade begun to appear timidly. A “pandemic”, which does not only concern Venice, but apparently also reaches abroad, yes OscarWhere in more than 90 years there have been only three the directors to get the statuette: Kathryn Bigelow, Chloe Zhao and Jane Campion. It’s not better Cannes Film Festivalwhere in 75 years only two directors awarded: Jane Campion in 1993 with “Piano Lessons” and Julia Ducournau with “Titane”, in 2021.

In short, Liliana Cavani’s message is very important, especially since it comes from a woman who was a pioneer behind the camera in Italy: β€œThe announcement of the award surprised me. I thought I was a seamstress who only had a group of loyal customers – he said with a smile – I started making documentaries with Rai about the worst war ever, and because of that, when I came across images of World War II, I discovered terrible things. You can’t imagine what I saw.”

“For me it was an important thing – he continued – History is fundamental. Also from History I received news about Francis of Assisi who spoke for peace during the crusades. I owe to cinema the beauty of being able to communicate my thoughts, this was taught to me by two directors in particular, Vittorio De Sica And Ingmar Bergman. With them, and with others, cinema has become equal, if not superior, to literature, because the images are wrapped.”

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