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Sunday, July 11, 2010

NZ International Film Festival 2010: Draquila - Italy Trembles

Draquila - Italy Trembles
Director: Sabina Guzzanti

It's International Film Festival time again, and the delicious smorgasbord of cinematic joy presenting itself to our small Shire once again excites the mind and soul. That said, I honestly think you should be able to laser point people who turn up late, God I hate that!

This documentary from Italian political satarist Sabina Guzzanti gives an eye watering examination of the utter corruption of the Berlusconi government, (the opening scene where she arrives at Aquila dressed as Berlusconi declaring this earthquake as the best thing to happen for his ratings is hilarious).

Italy has a history of large numbers of its citizens being made homeless from sudden natural disasters and a legacy of cheap container cell housing camps seems to have a deep impact on the Italian sense of home and family. Politically this sensitivity is ripe for manipulation and Guzzanti manages to encompass the jaw dropping corruption Berlusconi was able to get away with courtesy of mafia money and a total dominance through ownership of a subservient media.

With the Mafia accounting for 11% of Italy's GDP, much of their money is laundered via construction and when it comes to construction with no questions asked, Italy's Orwellian 'Civil Protection Agency' takes the number one spot. It's not just that they can make vast decisions with very little oversight resulting in bribe scandals and corruption probes into deals they've given family members, oh no, it's that the Civil Protection Agency can sanction any crazy rights violations of all those homeless people in the tent cities they've created. Coffee and Coke get banned in the camps as they will 'excite the people'. Restrictions on movement and control of those left shattered simply don't feature in the scheme of things as Berlusconi makes trip after trip to Aquila to declare everyone will get a shiny new house.

Only a third do. Those who are shut out never get heard and are never spoken to by the Berlusconi owned media. The vastness of the corruption is staggering, the total lack of accountability by the media breath taking.

Guzzanti has been banned from Italian TV as her work is simply too sharp. The animation sequences that tie each segment together are very biting and clever, but white subtitles don't tend to work well against a white background.

3 and a half stars
Sunday 11th, 3.45pm Sky City
Monday 12th, 1.45pm Academy
Wednesday 14th, 6.30pm Rialto


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