77th Venice Film Festival acknowledges women in film

The Golden Lion at Venice 12 September wen to “Nomadland” directed by Chloé Zhao who shot, edited and directed the film starring Frances McDormand. The stunning storytelling in this film chronicles the people who live on the road, on motorcycles or in trailers, many of them baby boomers who do not have enough social security to live on, and have to rely on odd jobs such as working in Amazon mailing centers in remote areas. The travelers are not homeless, they are 'houseless' as Fern (McDormand) said at the press conference broadcast widescreen via Zoom in Venice on September 11. McDormand considers both herself and Zhao as 'docents' on this journey through the US, museum guides, which was a designation given to them by one of the nomads they met.

It took a pandemic to change the face of this festival for women. Chloé along with Mira Nair are the only women of color of five women that have won the Golden Lion since 1949 after 77 editions of the Venice Film Festival: Agnès Varda, Chantal Akerman, Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola and Margaretha von Trotta. Many films this year were directed by women.

Venice is the first A-list fest for the public in a "restrained" environment with temperature checks and masks required in the festival arena and theatres. There was not one reported case of Covid during the festival and it was a fantastic success because of the meticulous planning that went into making the festival safe.

Vanessa Kirby won the Volpi Cup (best actress) for Pieces of a Woman based on a true story of 13 hour still born delivery (Kirby) where the midwife was sued for negligence. Kirby was in two films in the Venezia 77 competition both surrounding the loss of a child: World to Come, Mona Fastvold and Pieces of a Woman by the Hungarian director Kornél Mundruczó starring Ellen Burstyn and Shia LaBeouf.

Another woman honored in the Horizon Section jury led by Claire Denis received the Special Orizzonti Jury Prize: Listen by Ana Rocha de Sousa (United Kingdom, Portugal). It also took home the Lion of the Future – “Luigi De Laurentiis” Venice Award for a Debut Film. Rocha’s film who cried through her entire acceptance speech is about Portuguese immigrants to England with a deaf daughter. The school insists that they speak only English and do not understand their need to communicate in sign language.

© 2020 - Moira Jean Sullivan - Air Date: 09/15/2020
Movie Magazine International