The 2022 Return of ‘Cinema e Donne’ (Women’s International Film Festival)


The 2022 poster for Cinema e Donne

Nov. 23 – 27: CINEMA E DONNE (WOMEN’S INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL). Cinema la Compagnia (Via Cavour 50R), the German Institute  (Borgo Ognissanti 9) and the French Institute l’Istituto Francese (Piazza Ognissanti 2).  Screenings in the original language with Italian subtitles.  Single tickets are €5 or €4 (reduced). Daily passes are €8 or €7 (reduced) while a pass to all films costs €20 or €15.

Back this year in theaters is the Women’s International Film Festival (Cinema e Donne) after being canceled last year and held online in 2020.  The theme of the festival, “The Thousand Faces of Violence” is depicted through 27 films by or about women. The festival hopes to continue the conversation about not only the physical violence women endure but also the cultural and social issues women face that are less visible.

The program comprises films from the three most important European women’s film festivals: “Films Femme Mediterranée” of Marseille, “Dràc Magìc” of Barcelona and “Tricky Women, Tricky Realities” of Vienna.

Opening the festival on November 23 is short film “My Father’s Room” by Nari Jang at German Institute at 7 pm. The Korean animated feature has music but no dialogue. The plot follows the story of a girl who was abused by her father during her childhood and the complex feelings she has about him even when he is out of the picture.

Another short film, premiering for the first time in Europe, is “It Happens to Us” by Amalie Rothschild, will be shown in English at the Cinema La Compagnia on November 27. This American documentary from 1972 was made before the decision Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973 that legalized abortion. The documentary features 35 interviews with women of all different ages, races, and economic backgrounds that speak bravely about their experiences with abortion. As director, Amalie R. Rothschild, explained the film becomes even more pertinent in today’s context given the recent reversal of Rode v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court and its message even more intimate and  powerful. Since the work was made before abortion was legal some of the woman’s stories are marked by pain and shame while others by relief and gratefulness. It documents a powerful argument for women’s right to choose and offers some significant reflection on medical care, including insight by doctors.

Festival directors Maresa D’Arcange and Paola Paoli point out that even today in industries like the film industry there are structural inequalities stemming from violence against women. Only 10% of top films have female directors, as D’Arcange stated, “this is like seeing the world with one eye closed.”

Local Florentine business owner Gilda Gradi supports the festival through the Gilda Award. Gradi is the genius behind the beautiful Bistrot Gilda in Piazza Lorenzo Ghiberti. Gilda has been sponsoring the program for 15 years to support not only well-known female artists but also newcomers. Recipients this year include Giovanna Gagliardo for “Good Morning Tel Aviv,” Isabella Sandri for “Un Confine Incerto”, and Marina Capponi and Daniela Morozzi for the book “Bread and Roses.”

In light of International Day for the elimination of violence against women on November 25 the festival also includes talks entitled “Instead of Violence,” in Italian that will be held online and in presence at Cinema La Compagnia from November 25 – 27 between 11 am and 1 pm.

The festival’s rich program also incorporates films from many other countries including Spain, Germany, France, Greece, Slovenia and Serbia. All films are in their original language with Italian subtitles. For more info check here: or here (Michela Tambasco)