69th Venice International Film Festival
Director: Alberto Barbera
The film takes place in various parts of Italy over six days, which are Eluana Englaro’s last and whose story remains in the background. The stories of fictional characters from different faiths and ideologies are connected emotively to that case, in an existential reflection on the reasons for living life and for hope despite everything. A senator has to choose whether to vote for a law that goes against his conscience or not, going against the party line, whilst his daughter Maria, an activist in a pro-life movement, demonstrates outside the clinic where Eluana is being treated. Roberto, alongside his brother, is on the opposing secular front; an “enemy” who Maria falls in love with. Elsewhere, a great actress looks to her faith and a miracle to save her daughter, who has been in an irreversible coma for years, and for whom she has sacrificed her relationship with her son. Finally, there is the desperate Rossa who wants to die, but a young doctor called Pallido opposes her suicide with all his might. And against all expectations, at the end of the film, there is a reawakening...
language: Italian - s/t English
Toni Servillo, Isabelle Huppert, Alba Rohrwacher, Michele Riondino, Maya Sansa, Pier Giorgio Bellocchio
The film stemmed from the powerful emotions (and amazement) I felt at the death of Eluana Englaro. However, I also felt that this involvement risked limiting my imagination; I felt that it was necessary to broaden the horizon... I waited for two years and in that time the other stories were developed that were not far from Eluana’s but independent of it. They were “fished” from a distant time, from my whole life, childhood, adolescence, family, Catholic education, political compromise, moral principles. They came from the need to be consistent with one’s ideas, from the refusal to give up when faced with a life in danger that nevertheless retains all the potential for recovery and rebirth. Without Eluana dying there would be no Bella Addormentata (Dormant Beauty), who wakes up.