Another Hungarian success at Venice Film Festival! Hungarian films excelled at the festival, next to Erasing Frank, Cenzorka also won an award.
The latest film by Péter Kerekes, “Cenzorka” (107 Mothers), which won the best screenplay award in the Orizzonti section, was presented in the Horizons program of the Venice Film Festival. The film was co-scripted by Ivan Ostrochovský.
“Cenzorka” is set in a women’s prison in Odessa, Ukraine, where the inmates’ newborn children are also held captive and the women are only allowed to see them twice a week. If their mothers cannot find a place for them in the family before the children are three years old, they are taken into state care. The film focuses on two women: Leszja, sentenced to seven years in prison, who has just given birth to her son, and Irina, a prison worker.
Kerekes, who was born in Kassa, has previously made documentaries with fictional elements and actors, but this is his first feature film that is entirely fictional. Nevertheless, there is a documentary strand to it, as the film features only two professional actors (the main characters), the others being real-life convicts who act out their own stories. The director spent years visiting the prison and talking to the inmates.
The film was made with the support of the Slovak Audiovisual Fund, the Slovak and Ukrainian Ministries of Culture, Eurimages, and the Czech Film Fund, but no domestic release is yet known.
The Golden Lion, the main prize in the official competition program of the festival, was awarded to the French abortion drama “Happening”. Jane Campion returned to cinema after 12 years, winning the Best Director prize for her western “The Power of the Dog”. Penélope Cruz won Best Actress, again starring in an Almodóvar film. Paolo Sorrentino, Oscar winner for “The great beauty”, won the Grand Jury Prize for “The Hand of the God”, set in Naples and inspired by his own childhood.