Racism, feminism, the tragedy of migrants landing in Europe, family or personal dramas: two days before the award ceremony, the 80th Venice Film Festival has become a mirror of the malaise of today’s society.
The film festival kicked off just over a week ago in the shadow of actors and writers going on strike in Hollywood.
The lack of stars and the participation of big and scandalous directors (Roman Polanski, Woody Allen and Luc Besson) seemed to overshadow the rest of the participants.
This year, Mostra is presenting 23 films in competition for the Golden Lion.
However, the jury of the Mostra, chaired by Damien Chazelle (director of “La La Land” and “Babylon”), was able to attend a varied exhibition of auteur cinema, politically committed, satirical or historical, which made us forget the controversies.
The festival, which claims to be the oldest in Europe, is also seeing increasing visitor numbers: in the first five days, ticket sales to the public increased by 9% compared to 2022, according to official figures.
– Overwhelming experiences –
This Thursday is “Holly”, a drama about a young woman with alleged supernatural powers, by Belgian director Fien Troch, and “Lubo”, the real case about the marginalization of a Swiss nomadic artist in 1939, directed by Giorgio Diritti dem presented competition. .
Also unreleased are “Hors saison” by French director Stéphane Brizé and “Memory”, the new film by Mexican director Michel Franco about a senile madman (Peter Sarsgaard), which has already received an award in Venice.
The competition started off strong with Greek Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Creatures, a luxurious and extravagant recreation of the Frankenstein myth by Emma Thompson, whose interpretation critics say could open the door to another Oscar.
“Green Border” delivered a dose of compromised and neo-realist cinema, an ensemble drama shot in black and white with Syrian or Afghan actors to denounce the tragedy unfolding on the border between Poland and Belarus, where asylum seekers arrive daily.
The film, directed by Polish woman Agnieszka Holland, is a denunciation of the treatment of these people and of European migration policies.
Italian director Matteo Garrone’s (Gomorrah) “Io capitano” is another migration drama, but this time it’s shot across the desert and in Libyan prisons.
It explains the journey two Senegalese cousins make to get to Europe, an overwhelming experience that will soon cost them their lives.
American Ava DuVernay was the first African American to compete for the Golden Lion with Origin, an adaptation of a literary essay about the roots of racism in the United States.
Mostra also gave space to visual experiments, such as “La bête” by Frenchman Bertrand Bonello, a film about the effects of artificial intelligence that is reminiscent of the films of American David Lynch.
And it has also opened the doors to biographies of historical figures: Bradley Cooper’s Maestro, about the enigmatic figure of conductor Leonard Bernstein, and Priscilla, about Elvis Presley’s wife, sensitively directed by Sofia Coppola.
The Golden Lion will be unveiled from 21:00 (19:00 GMT) on Saturday.