The Straits Times
Published on Sep 03, 2012

Winds of crisis blow through Venice film festival


VENICE (AFP) - For all the glamorous seaside partying at the Venice film festival, there is a distinct air of austerity at this year's edition for an industry that is questioning its economic future.

The festival line-up has been slimmed and the star wattage toned down while even some of the movie plotlines reflect various forms of fallout from the financial crisis - from family and relationships to faith and spiritual values.

"The main recurring theme is the crisis. The economic crisis, which is having devastating social effects, but also the crisis of values," said Ms Alberto Barbera, director of what is the world's oldest international film festival.

"I wanted to give a voice to those who do not have one," said Ivano De Matteo, the Italian director of Gli Equilibristi (The Tightrope Walkers) about a man whose perfect life falls apart when his wife leaves him.