Shooting starts amidst protests for Bellocchio’s Sleeping Beauty
by Vittoria Scarpa
27/01/2012 - With or without public funding, shooting for Marco Bellocchio’s (pictured) new film, Sleeping Beauty, will begin in Cividale del Friuli (Udine) on Monday, 30 January, in the midst of a sea of protest. The film is inspired on the case of Eluana Englaro, the girl from the region of Friuli Venezia Giulia who lived in a vegetative state for 17 years and died in 2009 after her force-feeding was stopped, generating a heated debate about euthanasia. Sleaping Beauty, which is produced by Cattleya, saw its funding refused by the region of Friuli Venezia Giulia last December, under pressure from the Udc (Union of Christian Democrats). But the game isn’t over yet, since Cattleya has also asked for the maximum contribution, 150 thousand euros, from the regional Film Commission, who will have until March 31 (when the technical Committee is due to meet) to decide whether to grant funding.
Meanwhile, the Mayor of Udine Furio Honsell has also fallen into the cauldron of the controversy, having been criticised in the City Council by the Pdl (Berlusconi’s Party) for having given the green light to the Municipality’s collaboration with Cattleya: "These are incomprehensible polemics", said Honsell, "the Municipality has not granted anything for free and would certainly not be able to censure the work of one of the greatest Italian directors". ''I received a letter from the association of relatives of people in a vegetative state who were against funding the film, all voices must be heard", the archbishop of Udine said for his part.
Sleeping Beauty is "a work of fantasy which takes Eluana’s tragedy as a basis to tell different stories in a different way to hers'', the director, originally from Piacenza and author of Vincere [trailer, film focus], defends himself. "A beautiful meditation on life and death, wrongly interpreted as a film which supports euthanasia", thinks the producer Riccardo Tozzi. Written by Bellocchio together with Stefano Rulli (La nostra vita [trailer], Romanzo criminale [trailer, film focus], The Best of Youth) and the writer Veronica Raimo, the film will star Alba Rohrwacher, Toni Servillo, Michele Riondino and the director’s son Pier Giorgio Bellocchio. The cast is still in the process of being completed.
(Translated from Italian)