French filmmaker Audrey Diwan won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival this Saturday (11) for her film “L’Evénement” (“The Event”), a shocking and raw story about a clandestine abortion in the 1960s.
“It was difficult to make this film. Unfortunately, we know that what we tell is still happening in the world”, declared the director emotionally upon receiving the festival’s highest award.
Based on the novel of the same name by Frenchwoman Annie Ernaux, the film tells a feminine and universal story, that of Anne, a student who becomes pregnant and seeks a way to have an abortion, a crime in 1960s France.
As is still the case with thousands of women in countries where abortion is not legal, doctors, friends, her own boyfriend and teachers end up not helping her.
With a long and blunt sequence during which Anne has an abortion, the film is very realistic in describing this ordeal with images that mix intimacy and daily life, despair and suffering, all in the rhythm of the gestational weeks.
Diwan, 41, of Lebanese origin, who worked as a journalist and screenwriter, is a member of Collectif 50/50, a French NGO that promotes equality between men and women in the film industry.
“L’Evénement” stars French-Romanian actress Anamaria Vartolomei, whom Diwan publicly thanked for accepting the weight of such a strong film.
Diwan became the fourth woman to win the coveted Venetian award in the past 21 years, joining the likes of Mira Nair, Sofia Coppola and last year’s winner Chloé Zhao, who also won the Oscar for “Nomadland”.