The Italian Almanac

Sabina Guzzanti

Italian News - September 17

The Italian documentary film, "Viva Zapatero! For that Pinch of Liberty that We Still Have," written and directed by Sabina Guzzanti (one of the most censored satirical authors in Italy), was presented at the Venice Film Festival. Guzzanti highlights the problem of censorship in Italy, freedom of expression and the hard life of Italy's satirical authors. The movie, a hard-edged political chronicle, was out of the competition but still received the longest applause of the entire festival.

Guzzanti begins with the story of her satirical TV show, "Raiot" (a pun on RAI, the public television service) and paints a portrait of the state of Italy's mass media. "Raiot" had to be broadcasted on a public TV channel two years ago, but after the first episode it was suspended without a formal or declared reason. Most likely it was because the program made fun of Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi. The second episode wasn't broadcast on TV, but was played in an auditorium in Rome and launched on some local television channels. It was a runaway success.

From that moment, Guzzanti couldn't work in TV, so she started to play her satirical works in the theatre. She has always emphasized the lack of liberty in the Italian press, and in support of her position she interviewed politicians, Italian, British and French satirists, Italian and foreigner journalists, many ordinary people and also manipulators of information, revealed in all their ridiculous manners and attitudes.

This documentary is also a message for future Italian governments, an appeal that asks politicians to do what they promised during the election campaign. Guzzanti chose the title Viva Zapatero to remind all that the Spanish Prime Minister has done what he promised, as all politicians in the world should do.