Venice 79, on the eve of the Golden Lion that the jury chaired by Julianne Moore will award tomorrow evening during the closing ceremony of the Film Festival which celebrates 90 years, bows to the courage of Jafar Panahi, the Iranian director who has been condemned many times and now back in prison with a very heavy sentence, 10 years. His chair was evidently empty at the premiere of BEARS DO NOT EXIST (distributed by Academy Two from 6 October) and a flash mob attended by Moore and director Alberto Barbera, among others, was a way to bring solidarity to Tehran. The second film that characterized the last day of the competition, CHIARA (coming soon with 01), is dedicated to another courageous one, Santa Chiara.
An all-Italian cast led by director Susanna Nicchiarelli, to tell, almost reveal, the testimony of the founder of the Poor Clares, in a reconstruction immersed in the Middle Ages, between Massimo Cantini Parrini’s Oscar costumes and sacred music relaunched with the joy of a musical to Jesus Christ Superstar
. Oliver Stone brought the documentary to a world premiere, out of competition NUCLEARthe result of two years of investigative work and interviews to relaunch nuclear energy as the only way out of the energy crisis and above all a weapon in the fight against climate change.
Chiara “one of us”, Chiara “rebellious”, “feminist”, Chiara who is not one step behind a man, who believes in sisterhood, challenges the canons with her example: poverty instead of fine noble cloths, solidarity and equality instead of comfort zone. Described in this way, revealed in a certain sense with respect to common judgment, she could be a contemporary revolutionary. Susanna Nicchiarelli told Nico, Andy Warhol’s muse and singer of the Velvet Underground, then Eleanor Marx, the ideological heir daughter of the philosopher of Capital reinterpreted in a punk rock key, now with CLEAR films a third female figure, powerful, to be rediscovered, removed from the holy cards of the patron saint of Italy and of cinema and let it live today, understandable to those who, such as the young protagonists Margherita Mazzucco and Andrea Carpenzano, say nothing at all, at most of catechism and parish. She is a Saint Clare to be revealed and to be affixed to that of Francis, “the Church has always told her side, a follower of him, but the documents tell us something else and it is right to do her justice: Clare was a rebel, a feminist , she was charismatic, everything she did and managed to do, including a community of women only, those who later became the Poor Clares with the Benedictine rule, was something revolutionary. To be a witness to the Gospel like a man, Francis . Chiara, daughter of Count Favarone of Assisi, was 18 when she left everything and set out, her story is incredible “, Nicchiarelli says. The film, produced by Vivo Film with Rai Cinema and Tarantula, is dedicated to Chiara Frugoni, the great medievalist who passed away this year and who had time to see the film. Naturalness and contemporaneity were the keys for Mazzucco and Carpenzano, the actress of the Brilliant Friend and the 27-year-old of Immaturi the series, of Lovely Boy and La Terra dell’abbanzo. “They are carrying out a revolution, that’s what I liked about this project, I knew very little about Francesco, religion is not something that interests me”, confesses Carpenzano. “She did not want to become a saint, she wanted to strip off her possessions to be with people, she was almost surprised by the miracles and what was happening around her, she had a great magnetism, but at the same time she was also fragile, this aspect so human for me was the spring to interpret it “, explains Mazzucco.
BEARS DO NOT EXIST (NO BEARS) is perhaps the hardest, most explicit and therefore truly courageous film by Panahi (immediately Golden Lion among the rumors for the press), the one in which, abandoned allusions and ironies, tells of those who live and those who stay, those who pass the border and those who choose, like him, to remain and bear witness to dissidence in Iran. Panahi himself is the protagonist in the role of himself: from an isolated Iranian border village he remotely directs his film in Turkey via zoom (and that’s what really happened). He is the guest of an archaic community, full of superstitions, subjected to the rules of the Guardians of the Revolution: he is welcomed by a simple family but soon finds himself involved in a medieval affair, of combined couples, of oaths on the Koran: a photo he took would be the proof of love, illegal for them, between two lovers. In the film that he directs at a distance, however, there is another couple of actors who want to leave and are looking for fake passports. No compromise in Panahi’s film on the regime and one thinks of what could happen now after having seen it: the director, who already for a previous sentence could not leave the country or shoot cinema, made it shortly before his words in favor of another Iranian artist became a pretext for a new scandalous detention from last July.
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