Bellocchio's Dormant Beauty Stirs Political Controversy in Italy

Screen International, May 25, 2012 | Go to article overview

Bellocchio's Dormant Beauty Stirs Political Controversy in Italy


A mini-squall has hit the Italian film industry over the controversial decision to cut the entire 2012 funding of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Film Commission.

Local producers are claiming this decision has been taken on political and ideological grounds.

The cuts, some believe, are targeted squarely at Marco Bellocchio's new feature Dormant Beauty, starring Isabelle Huppert. The film (sold by Celluloid Dreams) is based on the true story of Eluana Englaro, a woman whose death in 2009 provoked an anguished debate about euthanasia in Italy.

Producers Cattleya successfully applied to Friuli Venezia Giulia Film Commission for [euro]150.000 ($188,000). They say that right-wing politicians in Italy's Friuli Venezia Giulia region where the film was shot, are trying to prevent Cattleya from receiving this money by slashing the Commission's entire 2012 budget.

Cattleya boss Riccardo Tozzi has told ScreenDaily that the Friuli Commission system had previously been transparent and straightforward to use. "It has been working very well for 10 years." However, Tozzi said, the subject matter of Dormant Beauty is considered "very disturbing in Italy...from the beginning, the right wing in Friuli tried to prevent the movie being done in the area."

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Tozzi added that the critics of Dormant Beauty had "no idea what the movie is about. …

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