The American film “Nomadland” won the first prize – “The Golden Lion” – in the seventy-seventh session of the Venice Film Festival, which is the first event held in front of a live audience since the beginning of the global Corona epidemic.
Film director Chloe Chow is the first woman to win the award in a decade.
Director Sofia Coppola was the last woman to win this award in 2010 for her film “Somewhere”.
The committee (led by Australian actress Cate Blanchett) awarded the “Silver Lion” to two runners-up, one being the film by Mexican director Michel Francos “New Order” and the other being the Japanese historical drama “Wave of a Spy”, for Kyoshi Kurosawa.
What is the story of the winning movie?
Nomadland is about an American woman who sets out to live as a modern nomad after the 2008 economic downturn.
The movie, in which Frances McDormand stars, takes place in the midst of a new tribe of elderly people on buses who want to roam the West.
Two Oscar winner McDormand plays a widow who goes on the road when she checks her home.
“McDormand’s calm performance in the movie may be the best of her career,” said Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian.
Chow, 38, who chose real bus residents to appear in front of McDormand, insisted the movie was not political.
However, it was viewed by many as a subtle allegory about the decline of the United States, as its humble heroes stuck to the last strings of the American Dream.
‘A test of the film industry’
The Venice Festival, usually attended by more than 10,000 executives, critics and journalists as well as industry leaders, is the first major international film competition to continue after other competitions around the world have been canceled, including its main competitor, the Cannes Film Festival.
Festival director Alberto Barbera described the event as a “kind of test” for the film industry, which is slowly regaining its place, with some production resuming and cinemas reopening, even as cases of “Covid-19” continue to rise in many parts of the world.
In Italy, the festival is seen as a sign of hope and a return to normal life in the first country in Europe to suffer from the global Corona virus epidemic.
The festival’s 2020 edition was described as modest, with nearly half the usual number of attendees, the absence of big-budget blockbusters, and fewer films and seats in theaters where social distancing rules were respected.
Masks were mandatory, hand sanitizers were abundant, and the temperature of the pioneers was measured when entering the festival grounds, and red banners everywhere warned the attendees not to disregard measures to combat the Corona virus.
And in the main competition for the first prize, there were eight films directed by women.
Some hope that this will reflect a new trend of festivals after criticism in recent years for the lack of gender diversity.