June 8, 2021 – 6:02 pm

Scheduled from 6 to 17 July, the young Poggibonsese Francesco Rossi will also participate, after having been present in Cannes in 2019

of Corriere Fiorentino editorial staff

After last year’s stop due to the health emergency, the most important film festival, Cannes 74, is back in attendance by moving from the traditional dates of May to those of July, scheduled from 6 to 17. There are two titles that will parade on the Croisette this year, shot in Tuscany: Benedetta, by Paul Verhoeven and Europa, by Haider Rashid.


The Dutch director Paul Verhoeven – known for his films made in Hollywood, including Robocop, Act of Force, Starship, The Man without a Shadow, Black Book, and titles between eroticism, thriller and violence, such as Basic Instinct and Elle – brings in Competition, Benedetta (Blessed Virgin), a film inspired by the true story of Benedetta Carlini, a nun who lived between the end of the 16th century and the 17th century, in Vellano, in the municipality of Pescia. Inspired by Judith C. Brown’s book, Impudic Acts. Life of a lesbian nun in Renaissance Italy, the film tells the story of Benedetta Carlini, born in 1591, from a wealthy family, which had guaranteed her a monastic life, and was nominated Abbess of the convent of the Mother of God in Pescia. Possessed by mystical and supernatural visions and marked by divine stigmata, Sister Benedetta had been placed under observation by the religious authorities of the time, until her cellmate, Sister Bartolomea, had confessed that, in reality, her visions had manifested in the course of sexual intercourse between them. The statements had caused a great scandal, for this reason Benedetta had been deprived of her role as Abbess and then remained segregated in a convent, constantly monitored, where she had died in 1661. The shooting of Benedetta took place in the summer of 2018, between Montepulciano and San Quirico d’Orcia, in collaboration with Toscana Film Commission, with the participation of many local extras and extras, selected thanks to very participatory castings.


The Florentine director, Haider Rashid, presents, in the competitive section Quinzaine des Réalisateurs, the film Europa, supported by the Toscana Film Commission, as part of the Sensi Contemporanei Toscana per il Cinema program. Born in Florence from his Iraqi father, the journalist and director Erfan Rashid, and from an Italian mother, Haider Rashid has already told in his films the themes of second generation Italians, the problems of those forced to migrate from their own country, for example in film Love and war in Baghdad and It’s about to rain. Round trip to Italy, in addition to the stories of those who, as a foreigner, live on the margins of society in Italy, as in the film No Borders, centered on the Baobab reception center in Rome, made in VR and played by Elio Germano. In the movie Europe it tells of Kamal, a young Iraqi who tries to enter Europe on foot, across the border between Turkey and Bulgaria, but is captured by the Bulgarian border police. Once he manages to escape, he looks for a way out in the dense and endless Bulgarian forest, an underworld where rules and law do not exist, where he is injured by “migrant hunters”. For three days and three nights Kamal fights for survival, until a final confrontation between life and death. The film was shot between July and August 2019, in Alpe della Luna, in the province of Arezzo, in collaboration with Toscana Film Commission.

The new talent

It should also be noted that the young Poggibonsese Francesco Rossi, after having been present at Cannes in 2019, for the film Passion Simple, by Danielle Arbid, of which he was assistant director, made the short film The coldest room, produced by his home production, Filmarea, which will be shown at the Cannes Film Festival, at the Short Film Corner.

June 8, 2021 | 18:02



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