Venice Film Festival


Sophia Clifton, Staff Writer

The Venice Film Festival came to a close last weekend on Sunday, September 7th. The Festival is held from August 28th to September 7th in the Palazzo del Cinema in Lido, Italy. Held by the art organization, Venice Biennale, since 1932, the Venice Film Festival is the longest running film festival in the world. Known for its new movie screenings, fashion, and early Oscars predictions. This year’s festival debuted Joker, Marriage Story, The King, and countless other films from across the world. Awards like the Golden Lion, Silver Lion, and the Best Film award were given as well.


The recipient of the Golden Lion, the top award at the festival, was the film Joker. Although the film has been praised by audiences, its win in Venice surprised fans and critics alike. Major Hollywood produced film rarely win the Golden Lion; let alone a film a film based on a super villain origin story. Some people even regarded Joker’s Venice win as a fluke. However, Joker premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and received even more buzz. Another point of controversy for the award winning film is its possible sympathy towards the Joker himself. Arthur (Joker) Fleck is an isolated man who has been broken down over his unsuccessful lifetime. His character development, going from regular man to super villain, seems to sympathize with Joker’s actions rather than showing how evil these actions are. Supporters of the film say that rather than sympathizing with the villainous man himself, the film empathizes with isolation as an emotion that can drive people to maddness.


The runner-up to Joker, winning the Silver Lion award, was Roman Polanski’s An Officer and a Spy. This win was controversial in its own right. Polanski pleaded guilty to the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl in the 1970s. While awaiting his final sentencing in 1978, Polanski fled the U.S. for France. Polanski, in the blink of an eye, went from being praised and celebrated for his film making to being one of the most notorious fugitives in the U.S.. After all his history, it came as a surprise for many that he still managed to win such a prestigious award. Hollywood’s ability, and seemingly eagerness, to excuse rape is made scarily clear in Polanski’s win. 


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