Cannes may be a celebrity-filled film festival but it's also a cerebral festival, with movies that make you think. I watched the controversial documentary about the earthquake in L'Aquila that slams Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for his handling of the crisis as a means to boost his popularity. It's called DrAquila and is directed by satirist Sabina Guzzanti.
It made me remember that in South Africa we're not the only ones with shameful politicians who are corrupt and embarass us. Berlusconi makes both Tiger Woods and Julius Malema look tame - with his sex scandals and ability to say silly things at inopportune moments. I can see why the Italian Minister of Culture boycotted the festival because it was screening this documentary - DraQuila holds back no punches.
I was interviewed by an Italian newspaper journalist as I walked out of the cinema, asking me my reactions. The thing is this, you hear about Berlusconi in the various media reports, but a film like this pieces it all together and gives one reason to fear the fact that this leader is in power - yet again. "A dictatorship without the torture", as one interviewee in the movie put it.
The most poignant moment comes from a journalist who lost his two children in the earthquake. He believed the lies that were spread as information from seismologists that another earthquake was not going to happen, when they knew one would. He told his two children that too, and they listened to him when he said not to get up during a tremor as it wouldn't be a problem. And so they lay in their beds as the city fell.
Harold's Planet - Daily Cartoon
2 days ago