Thanks to Alan
Sabina Guzzanti's documentary Viva Zapatero! is now on sale in
the UK, partly in English and with the Italian stuff subtitled. It's a
remarkable indictment of the way in which Berlusconi tried to shut her
up, largely with the compliance of RAI bigwigs and the Italian press.
There's a guest appearance of Rory Bremner (as himself and as Tony
Blair). Sabina Guzzanti herself is marvellous, especially when she
appears as Berlusconi, a masterpiece of make-up since she's actually a
rather attractive woman in her early forties.
The TV broadcasting of the satirical program RAIot was censored
in November 2003 after the comedienne, Sabina Guzzanti, made outspoken
criticism of the Berlusconi media empire. Mediaset, one of Berlusconi's
companies, sued the Italian state broadcasting company RAI because of
the Guzzanti show asking for 20 million Euro for "damages" and from
November 2003 she was forced to appear only in theatres around Italy.
After the show was cancelled, Guzzanti tried fruitlessly to get it
reinstated, in spite of the fact that a judge dismissed the case that
initially resulted in the termination of the show. Her struggle however,
did result in the film, Viva Zapatero! . The documentary openly
reveals censorship laws that Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is
presently imposing on the country's freedom of speech. Viva Zapatero!
is seen by some as Italy's Fahrenheit 9/11.
In August, 2005, it was the sleeper hit of the Venice International Film
Festival, receiving a 15-minute standing ovation after its premiere
screening. When it opened in Italian theaters, over 200,000 people went
to see it in the first week, probably a record. Its success resulted in
an invitation to the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.