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Drop by drop

A special Green Drop Award to Dry by Paolo Virzì
by Mariachiara Marzari
  • friday, 9 september 2022

At the Venice Film Festival for the eleventh year straight, the Green Drop Award is given out by Green Cross, the organization founded over thirty years ago by Mikhail Gorbachev and that began operations in Italy by another Nobel laureate, Rita Levi Montalcini. The Award is given to the film, chosen among the main Competition shortlist, that better interprets the value of ecology, sustainable development, and cooperation among peoples. On September 9, 10am, at the Italian Pavilion, the winner of the 2022 edition will be announced, and a special mention will be given to Dry by Paolo Virzì. The 2022 edition of the Green Drop Award has been produced in cooperation with Sardegna Film Commission, ANEC, Settimana del Pianeta Terra, Centro internazionale del fumetto di Cagliari. We met with the director of the Green Drop Award, Marco Gisotti.

The Green Drop Award to Dry, by Paolo Virzì. How does this film represent the award’s values?
Though not in the main Competition, Dry is a film that represent, for several reasons, modern Italy, and especially the fears of younger Italians as they look forward to the future. It is one of those movies that carries within itself all the weight of the ecologic crisis – those shots of a dried-out Tiber – and for Virzì, this extends into society as he highlights the conflicts that such a crisis may cause. Moral drought, not only physical. The film doesn’t cross over into sci-fi territory, and it is not an open-faced parody. We get the feeling that Virzì interprets the fear of the future in a very personal way. And it is relevant, today: The Po and Tiber rivers – Italy’s two biggest rivers – have been at dangerously low levels all summer.

Eleven years at the Venice Film Festival, and many films seen through the eye of environmentalism. How and how much did the Award influence filmmakers’ participation into the sustainability discourse?
During the course of the Festival, we held a panel with representative from the filmmaking industry, from production houses to festivals to theatres. A very interesting, dynamic panel. I may say there is no filmmaker or artist who, today, won’t think of what we call ecologic transition. And precisely because we have been here for eleven years, I know this is not a fad, but a fact of growing importance. I believe that over the next several years, we will be looking at filmmaking more and more aware of ecology. In our way, we think we gave our contribution to that effect.

An homage to Mikhail Gorbachev. How influential has been his contribution to the global discourse on environment?
Mikhail Gorbachev has been many things. Above all – a dreamer. Only dreamers can imagine a different future, and he did. It is no chance that a filmmaker such as Wim Wenders wanted to pay homage to him since the times of Faraway, So Close! “I have a dream: a perestroika of sustainability that will revolutionize the way people give value to life – their own, their children’s, and that of the only planet we share. May the Green Drop Award encourage every film director, screenwriter, and actor to bear a message of change for a sustainable future of all humanity.” With these words, uttered in 2012, Wenders gave us his blessing. With such optimism, the optimism of reason, we shall go forward.

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