Abortion drama wins top prize at Venice Film Festival
Venice, Sep 11 (EFE).- French director Audrey Diwan’s film about a clandestine abortion, “L’Evenement” (“Happening”), was announced Saturday as the recipient of the Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion.
Adapted from the novel of the same name by Annie Ernaux about her experience as a university student in 1963, when abortion was still illegal in France, the film was the unanimous choice of a jury led by Oscar-winning filmmaker Bong Joon-Ho.
“I did this movie with anger. I did the movie with desire also. I did it with my belly, my guts, my heart, my head,” Diwan said as she accepted the Golden Lion. “I wanted ‘Happening’ to be an experience.”
Diwan praised her star, Anamaria Vartolomei, as “not just a simple actress, but the film itself,” and invited her onto the stage.
The festival’s second-highest distinction, the Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize, went to Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino’s “The Hand of God,” while New Zealander Jane Campion got the Silver Lion for Best Director on the strength of “The Power of the Dog.”
The Best Screenplay award was bestowed on Maggie Gyllenhaal of the United States for “The Lost Daughter,” the actress’ first directorial effort.
Spain’s Penelope Cruz took the Volpi Cup as best actress for her performance in Pedro Almodovar’s “Parallel Mothers.”
In her acceptance speech, the Oscar winner thanked frequent collaborator Almodovar for “inspiring me every day with your search for truth.”
“You have created magic again and I could not be more grateful or proud to be part of it,” Cruz said. “I adore you.”
John Arcilla of the Philippines, star of “On The Job: The Missing 8,” a film about repression of journalists in his homeland, won the Volpi Cup as best actor. EFE