Girlfriend in a Coma

28 Feb

This documentary is going viral so I thought I might as well get on the bandwagon and tell you, dear readers, about it.

It’s no secret that The Economist has been ripping Berlusca a new one for a really long time.

So Bill Emmott, former editor of The Economist, teamed up with director Annalisa Piras to create this documentary, whose mission as stated (on their website) is:

to build awareness in Italy and around the world of the true nature and severity of the decline of this once-great western democracy, to warn other countries that a similar destiny could await them, and to serve as a call to action, at all levels of society.

The only way to see it as far as I know right now, if you’re outside of Italy, is in a theatre screening, and the list of those screenings can be found here.

In Italy, for the next two weeks (up til March 13), you can purchase a download for 3,90 EUR in a special promotion by L’Espresso magazine.

The documentary includes interviews by many big names in Italian finance, politics, business, and culture. You can read an article by CNBC about the documentary here.

Here’s a clip I found on YouTube of Emmott somehow cornering Berlusca. Watch in awe as Silvy generously offers to give his take on the situation. God bless the man!

If you watch the full documentary, let me know what you think in the comments.

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12 Responses to “Girlfriend in a Coma”

  1. Catherine February 28, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    Thanks for this! I’ve been chasing around after this for a couple of weeks. Looking forward to, well, more of the same.. I LOVE the way The Economist has constantly tried to shed this man/monster.

    • Un'americana a Roma March 1, 2013 at 10:52 am #

      Honestly, The Economist has been possibly the biggest monkey on Berlusca’s back, but it’s good, because he really is a figure that is always in need of objective reporting (although that might be an oxymoron regardless, given all the journalistic political leanings), I guess more than anything, a view from a journalistic outlet outside of Italy, because it really is way too divisive and subjective here, what with him controlling so many of the media outlets and the political rivals also in the journalistic realm being so biased.

  2. Michconnors February 28, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    Girlfriend in a Coma was on Youtube in its entirety for free but unfortunately it’s been taken down…

    Did you see “Italy, Love it or Leave it?” That was a bit lighter take on the situation though it basically covered all the same points. The visits to Calabria in both of the films are embarassing for me being Calabrese by marriage. But the truth is it’s even worse than what they show in these films.

    Would love to hear your take on the film, Shelley.

    • Un'americana a Roma March 1, 2013 at 11:02 am #

      Yeah, I just realized it was free in the recent past, but I didn’t get on that bandwagon in time. :-( I imagine they did that to build up buzz with the intention that once word of mouth got going, they could take it off, but I don’t really know what the motivation was for that. Too bad really that it isn’t available widely online any longer.

      Yes I saw Italy, Love it Or Leave it, I’ve met the directors too and chatted with them a bit. Lovely and insightful both the directors and the film. Nice to see a younger perspective and a native perspective as well. Also the theme is so timely: I moved back to Rome almost 2 years ago after taking 3 years away in the States, and I have YET to meet one person, especially my age range (thirties) who understands why on Earth I’d do such a thing, and here you have two Italians really addressing that…but then on the flip side, let’s be honest: the filmmakers there aren’t really Italian mainstream, are they? They aren’t really part of the “masses” simply because of their status, and connections—I don’t think they represent the typical young Italian. Well they themselves even admit it, being that now they’re in their early 40s anyways and basically tour the world by invitation to promote their film.

      However I absolutely don’t discount their work because it raises the discussion and awareness. But truly the problem lies elsewhere–to simplify, in Italy’s stagnant economic and political system. But that’s me saying more of the same, nothing new there. The question to me always remains the same “Can change be made, or not?” I’ve lived in Rome now for over 8 years and I think the “passive” attitude you hear from Romans and Italians living here, who say “nothing will ever change” isn’t as simplistic or reductionist or “giving up” as it might seem at first glance to outsiders. It’s not necessarily that people don’t want things to change, but the hopelessness stems, in my opinion, from the unavoidability of deeply culturally ingrained values and practices: change isn’t simply a matter of “yes, we can” or political rhetoric, because culturally … the question is far more complicated, and values that are by now basically subconscious, aren’t necessarily in line with what people say they want to see happen. Until that struggle gets resolved, ie, until overall cultural values change on a conscious level, how on Earth can anyone expect practices to change on a nationwide level?

  3. rickzullo February 28, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

    I watched it recently and thought it was a useful addition to the larger discussion. Well-edited video always makes an impact. But I’m also reading his book, “Good Italy, Bad Italy,” which is a better description of the events leading up to the current mess in Italy for those who want a deeper understanding. Despite all evidence to the contrary, I’m optimistic about Italy’s long-term future (or at least as optimistic as I am for the West in general). To put the words of Bill Clinton into the mouth of an Italian,”There’s nothing wrong with Italy that can’t be fixed by what’s right with Italy.” Italy has seen worse than this and survived, even thrived. But that statement wouldn’t make for an interesting headline…or a provocative title for a documentary.

    • Un'americana a Roma March 1, 2013 at 11:06 am #

      I was just chatting with someone yesterday (not an Italian, but an EU citizen) who is new to Rome and living here for a few months, and I was saying, look, the whole election/government thing going on right now, it’s really nothing new, this is just the way things “work” around here: governments fall, there’s never consensus, etc… and yet life goes on. The abnormal is the normal around here. And this person said, “ok, true, but the EU hasn’t ever faced a crisis of this magnitude in terms of economic instability” which, perhaps that’s the context in which this should be viewed, that Italy is a bit of a fulcrum right now that can dramatically tip things for better or worse. In that sense optimism is essential because without it, there’s no force for change whatsoever. I think, regardless of political views or attitudes, the Movimento 5 Stelle is the first I’ve seen in my tenure here in Italy of an actual movement that’s taking concrete steps to create practical change, for better or for worse, it’s certainly the first time I’ve seen “piazza rhetoric” move onto the nationwide political stage and create real impact.

  4. Taryn February 28, 2013 at 6:37 pm #

    Agree with michconnors, Shelley we would love to hear your opinions on this!

    • Un'americana a Roma March 1, 2013 at 11:07 am #

      As soon as my kiddos go to bed tonight, if I’m not too destroyed, that’s on my to-do list!

  5. ginadepalma February 28, 2013 at 8:00 pm #

    Hmmm, I don’t know about the once-great democracy part. The potential has always been there. But thanks for posting this, Shel; I’ve been following the election. I remember the election when I arrived in Rome in 2008. It is never easy in Italy.

    • Un'americana a Roma March 1, 2013 at 11:10 am #

      Yeah I find the “once-great democracy” part a little questionable as well. Like, when, exactly? Weird. Even the Italians would generally laugh at that, I think. I mean, democracy: the only time a government actually went to full term was under Berlusconi, so that kind of undermines their whole premise and argument, dontcha think??

      It’s never easy, of course not! That’s what makes life here so interesting for those of us who stay and aren’t from here. Not to make light of it, but honestly, part of the “fascino” of Italy for me is just this, the total incongruence and daily conundrums that come up, the fascination with how things can be so totally effed up on a perennial basis and yet life continues to somehow move forward and function despite it all, I mean it really does baffle the mind and defy all logic!

  6. Un'americana a Roma March 1, 2013 at 10:50 am #

    I haven’t yet watched it but plan to in the next couple of days and would be happy to post my comments!

  7. ilovelucca March 4, 2013 at 9:21 am #

    interesting…especially as I am reading Bill emmotts book ” good italy, bad italy” at the moment….

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