lux film prizeGiornate degli Autori - Venice Days

11 September, 2010

Venice 67: Oh Venice Days, Oh Venice Days!

(apologies to Connall for the title of this post :) )

The Venice Film Festival is slowly, slowly drawing to a close and I'm sitting at my laptop trying to come up with an adequate way to describe this experience. It's been eleven days of non-stop running from one screening to another, of searching for our next caffeine fix in the hope that it will keep us awake for the next screening, of exchanging ideas with peers and professionals, of the occasional celebrity sighting, of getting to know 26 European Cinéphiles – with the Venice Film Festival serving as the perfect backdrop.

The idea that you are going to spend eleven days watching films can be a bit daunting at first and n all honesty, if anyone had to ask me which films I've seen, I wouldn't be able to mention them off the top of my head; of course, there are ones which stick out. What strikes me about the majority of the films I have seen is their social and political relevance, which I find immensely important. From François Ozon's 'Potiche' serving as a satire of the current political situation in France, Feo Aladag's 'Die Fremde' dealing with the problem of honour killings in Europe and domestic violence , Denis Villeneuve's 'Incendies' where the struggles Lebanon faced become an essential part of the narrative and Danis Tanovic's 'Cirkus Columbia' which is played out against the political situation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1991. These films that I have mentioned are just a few of the films at the festival which in one way or another struck some political notes. In my opinion, films act as a mirror of reality, so it is quite impossible for a film to be void of social or political commentary. Art is political in itself, and cinema as a visual and auditory medium is very powerful in that it can clearly convey a message or an idea. Throughout the history of film (and politics) this has been used negatively - such as propaganda films as well as positively; making politics more accessible. The rise of Soft Power in today's world means that Film as a medium is extremely important, and we can see that even the European Union acknowledges the potential of cinema in this respect with the Lux Prize. The meeting we had yesterday with some members of the European Parliament showed us that the people who are representing us in Europe are aware of just how powerful film can be, and how it should be appreciated and supported.

Many thanks go to the European Parliament, Europa Cinemas, Giornate Degli Autori and Cineuropa for making this experience possible. Chapeau Bas!

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