Film suspended on complaint by Mussolini granddaughter

8th September 2009, Comments 0 comments

Alessandra Mussolini, 45, lodged a complaint last week over the film, in which a character refers to her as a "bitch who wants to kill Romanians."

Venice -- The distributors of a film that refers to Mussolini's granddaughter as a "bitch who wants to kill all the Romanians" have agreed to cancel screenings pending a court decision on her complaint, news reports said Sunday.

"Francesca," about a Romanian who dreams of moving to Italy to open a kindergarten, screened twice at the Venice film festival and was to have been shown in public cinemas in the area on Sunday and Monday.

Alessandra Mussolini, 45, lodged a complaint last week over the film, in which Francesca's father also refers to Verona Mayor Flavio Tosi as the "shit mayor" of the northern city.

Tosi has also taken legal action.

"The entire work will be defended as well as the author's freedom of expression," said Domenico Procacci of the film's distributor, Fandango.

"We intend to release the film in its entirety at the end of October," he told the daily La Repubblica.

Procacci told the Corriere della Sera however that "if the judge obliges us to modify something I think we will find a solution with the director."

The remarks, which come right at the start of the film when Francesca seeks advice from her father about her plan to emigrate, drew hearty applause from the film festival audience.

Mussolini, a lawmaker of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom party, "said that Romanians have rape in their DNA, which is a crazy thing and a statement that the granddaughter of the famous Duce should take responsibility for," director Bobby Paunescu said last week.

"Tosi said Verona should be freed of Romanians, even though he later said he was talking about gypsy camps," he added.

Berlusconi swept back to power for a third time last year in alliance with the anti-immigration Northern League on a platform that associated immigration with crime.

A series of violent crimes including rape and murder blamed on Romanian immigrants played a key role in their victory.

Romanians are now Italy's largest immigrant community, numbering some 342,000 according to official figures and more than half a million according to the Roman Catholic organisation Caritas.

Romania joined the European Union in 2007 and under free travel agreements has an increasingly large diaspora in western Europe.


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