Happening A French Film On Abortion wins Venice Film Festival

Ankita Gurung
Ankita Gurung

French Film Happening (L’événement) . It is a very thought provoking hard hitting French drama. The movie focusses on illegal abortion in the 1960s . It won the Golden Lion award for best film at the Venice festival on Saturday.

This stunning and thought provoking movie is directed by Audrey Diwan. She suprised the audience with such a powerful movie. Diwan wowed the audience on the Lido waterfront. With its portrayal of a young woman desperate to arrange a termination. At a time when it could mean a prison term or death, to continue with her studies.

Audrey’s Happening came in such a time when there is a debate going on regarding abortion . And about the new restrictions related to it in Texas. Also when Me Too movement starting to make its mark in the film industry.

“I did this movie with anger, with desire, with my belly, my guts, my heart and my head,” said Diwan, accepting the top prize for her delicately rendered yet gut-punching drama.

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Although the movie is set in the 1963 but the central theme is  relatable even  at present time as well. With all the happening about abortion and bew rules in Texas. The 11 days movie marathon ended with the award ceremony. The critics were very satisfied with the movies and called it one of the best line up.

It was a night to remember as many awards were won by women this year. The movie they served the audience are chef kiss. It was the night for women film-makers, Best Director went to iconic New Zealand auteur Jane Campion. For her emotionally complex Western The Power Of The Dog starring Benedict Cumberbatch. While Best Screenplay went to US actress Maggie Gyllenhaal for her directorial debut The Lost Daughter. An unflinching look at the difficulties of balancing career and motherhood starring Oscar winner Olivia Colman.

“It is amazing that you managed to make this happen,” said New Zealand’s Jane Campion, who won the Silver Lion prize for best director with 1920 frontier saga “The Power of The Dog”.

“It is special for us film-makers to be here live with audiences and experience what we dream about.”

Stars also appeared and graced the Venice red carpet. Which is an important part of any award function.

Ben Affleck – holding hands with Jennifer Lopez – Matt Damon, Timothee Chalamet and Kristen Stewart were among the Hollywood A-listers who made the trip for the world’s oldest film festival.

Besides all these two movies created huge buzz although it was screened outside the main contest. The movies were not eligible for any awards. Denis Villeneuve’s remake of a science fiction classic “Dune” and Ridley Scott’s medieval epic “The Last Duel”.

Happening is one of the most deserving films to win this award. With many strong women’s stories in a year. Audrey’s movie really left a mark on its audience.

Adapted from Annie Ernaux’s autobiographical novel, the picture’s tight framing immerses the audience in the private trauma lived by Anne, its protagonist.

“On set, I was always thinking: Let’s not look at Anne, let’s be Anne,” Diwan said.

Audrey Diwan is the sixth female director to win this award in the 78th edition of the ceremony “Happening” is also the second French movie to triumph at a major festival since Julia Ducournau’s “Titane” scooped the Palme D’Or in Cannes in July.

Among other awards, the runner-up Grand Jury prize went to Italian director Paolo Sorrentino for “The Hand of God”, his deeply personal film about losing his parents as a teenager.

Spain’s Penelope Cruz won the best actress prize for playing a single mother in Pedro Almodovar’s “Parallel Mothers”. The best actor prize went to John Arcilla from the Philippines for “On The Job: The Missing 8

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