French abortion drama Happening wins Venice Film Festival

Director Audrey Diwan

Event director Audrey Diwan
Photo: St̩phane Cardinale РCorbis / Corbis via Getty Images

Foreshadowing a future in which we will have to constantly clarify whether a given film titled Event is an emotionally heartbreaking and painfully timely French abortion drama / Venice Film Festival winner, or sci-fi film in which a tree tries to kill Mark Wahlberg, THR reports that of Audrey Diwan The event indeed, withdrew the grand prize at this year’s festival. Anamaria Vartolomei stars in the film (French title: The event) as a young woman living in 1960s France, who sees her desire for an academic career systematically threatened after becoming pregnant in a society that legally dictates her control over her body. In our list of several of the most important VFF movies this yearLeila Latif described the mixture of political consciousness and painfully realistic bodily horror as follows:

Much of the audience curled up in their seats or hid behind their programs during the most brutal scenes without flinching. The texas news made it all particularly moving, but even without the breaking news context giving it special and unfortunate timeliness, the film would remain devastating and beautifully directed, with a phenomenal central performance by Anamaria Vartolomei.

“I feel heard tonight! Diwan said accepting the price.

Also tonight’s awards: Paolo Sorrentino, whose semi-autobiographical film God’s hand won the grand jury award, and Jane Campion, who won the best director award for her Benedict Cumberbatch vehicle The power of the dog. Maggie Gyllenhaal, meanwhile, won the Best Screenplay award for her directorial debut, The lost girl, while Romanian directors Monica Stan and George Chiper-Lillemark won first prize for feature film for their detox drama Immaculate. And in the actor categories, Penelope Cruz (Parallel mothers), Jean Arcilla (At work: the 8 missing) and Filippo Scotti (God’s hand) have all won awards.

It should be noted that several of the festival’s hottest films debuted out of competition: Halloween kills, The last duel, Dune, Last night in Soho, and others were not eligible for the rewards.