With the pain of an injured hand, Lucrecia Martel is sincere. “I would rather be at home” and not in the Lido of Venice presiding over the jury of the 76th Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica. It is not necessary to take so much honesty spilled in the press conference with the presidents of the different sections. Lucrecia has not had it easy since he gave the “yes I want” to this assignment.
“I do not separate the man from the work, the interesting thing about the works is that they transparent the man”, I would say at the beginning of this meeting with the press, where usually made phrases abound, to some extent condescending positions and common places.
That is not going for Martel, so his interventions triggered an exciting debate on two important issues, such as the implications of Roman Polanski’s participation in the official competition and the meager presence of female directors at a film festival of the size of The Mostra.
The name of Roman Polanski is not only linked to the cinema, but also to an accusation of sexual abuse of a minor, drug use and perversion in 1977, which is why since then he has not stepped on American soil again. The victim and his family reached an agreement with the principal, but in later years other accusations were made known. After his arrest in Zurich (in 2009) and Poland’s refusal to reopen the case to be extradited to the US. UU., It seemed that case was closed, but it was not.
Thanks to the #Metoo movement, many victims have found support to report abuse and abuse, so the crimes committed twenty, thirty or forty years ago are coming to public attention. This is the case of Polanski, who at age 86 faces serious accusations again.
Although Lucrecia Martel had no founded information on this new litter of complaints, it is clear: “I am certainly not going to attend Mr. Polanski’s gala, because I represent many women who are fighting in Argentina for issues such as these, and not I wish I had to stand up and clap. ”
J’accuse, the new film by the Polish filmmaker, which focuses on the so-called Dreyfus case (1894), competes for the Golden Lion in this edition. For years Polanski had this project in hand until he could complete its completion. Among all the implications of the Dreyfus case, it is notable that it is about (in) justice, the role of the media and political pressures. Without doubt, irony is a lady who makes an appearance when she least expects it, and this is one of those opportunities.
Lucrecia Martel throws many questions on the air regarding cases like Roman Polanski’s. “If a person has served his sentence, this is perhaps what is a bit in question, but whose victim already feels compensated, what are we going to do? Put it out to protect the festival? ”, He questions himself with his characteristic calm tone.
The important thing for Martel is to start a frank discussion. “All these conversations are pertinent, and they are the conversations of our time,” he says, and although he was about to rethink his decision to accept this “political” position, as defined by the presidency of the jury in La Mostra, it seems right that Polanski’s new film is at this festival. “It’s a dialogue that we owe ourselves and what better place than this to go deeply in that way.”
Since the titles of the competition for the Golden Lion were announced, the debate about the very great presence of directors was revived. Unlike last year, with a filmmaker in the competition, this year, among the 21 titles (including the Ciro Guerra film, Waiting for the barbarians ) there are two women: Haifaa Al Mansour, with The Perfect Candidate , and Shannon Murphy, with Babyteeth , and all despite the initiatives and protests in favor of raising the number of elected in film contests.
During his long career in the cinema, Lucrecia Martel has lived in his own flesh all the avatars of the profession, so his opinion is also relevant in relation to the benefits of the 50-50 implementation. And once again with the sincerity ahead he said not to feel precisely happy with the female quota, however he considers it as the only cure for the disease.
“I don’t know how else we can force this industry to think differently, to consider films directed by women,” he said; that “does not mean, because it would be to assume me and many people as stupid, that any film directed by a woman is already making a great read about humanity.”