The feminist phenomenon film that beat “Barbie” in Italy is released in Europe

The feminist phenomenon film that beat “Barbie” in Italy is released in France

More than a film, a social phenomenon: “There is still tomorrow”, a huge success in Italy where it relaunched the debate on domestic violence, is released on Wednesday in Europe.

Lasting two hours, shot in black and white, this historical drama contradicted all predictions by attracting nearly 4.4 million spectators in Italy in 2023, becoming the most viewed film of the year, ahead of ” Barbie.”

Its director, Paola Cortellesi, a familiar face of television and cinema in the peninsula, plays the leading role, that of Delia, a Roman housewife submissive to a brutal and authoritarian husband, Ivano (Valerio Mastandrea), who does not Don’t hesitate to beat her.

The family struggles to make ends meet in immediate post-war Italy, when the country is part of the vanquished camp and attempts to turn the dark pages of fascism which left it in ruins.

While Italian women dream of finally obtaining the right to vote, Delia remains secluded within the four walls of her home, where she juggles the demands of her father-in-law, who no longer leaves his bed but tyrannizes the household, and his three children, two little boys who are already playing strong-arms and his daughter Marcella.

When the son of a local bourgeois asks for Marcella’s hand, Delia should be delighted: she has devoted her life to the hope that her daughter will have a “good marriage”. Will she dare to break the spell which, from generation to generation, enslaves women to their violent husbands?

Among men, violence is “a type of education that is transmitted from generation to generation. We can say that each subject has their free will but, at the time, education was very significant”, underlines Paola Cortellesi in an interview with AFP. “And it was also transmitted to women, who were educated with the idea that they were worth nothing,” she laments.

Between neo-realism and Italian comedy, this ode to emancipation maintains the suspense until a surprising outcome, while avoiding the pitfall of the moral lesson.

“A popular film”

I wanted to tell the story of a woman who is not driven by desires“of emancipation, the director rewinds.”His awareness is not a political journey but it is something instinctive. She realizes that the patriarchal pattern will repeat itself, that her daughter will fall into the same trap as her“.

Why such a success ? “VSis unexpected. Clearly, the producers said it was going to be difficult but they believed it“, says Paola Cortellesi, for whom this is the very first film as a director and screenwriter.

I wanted to make a popular film, so I’m happy, but I think there are no real rules for success“. Deep down, “There’s Still Tomorrow” is a love story.”but not classic: the story of a mother’s love for her daughter“, analyzes the director.

Welcomed in Italy in numerous schools, which organized debates, the film had the honor of a screening last Monday in the Chamber of Deputies, before International Women’s Rights Day on Friday.

The film had a particular resonance in this largely Catholic country, where gender stereotypes are very anchored and violence against women is very present. According to a government report from July 2021, “in some regions, up to 50% of men believe that violence is acceptable in relationships“.

An independent Council of Europe report on violence against women published in 2020 recommended the adoption of “proactive and long-term measures to promote changes in social and cultural behaviors comparable to sexism, particularly among men and adolescents, which are based on the idea that women are inferior“.

An observation regrettably shared by Paola Cortellesi: “There are still feminicides and violence, including among young people. It is therefore a culture which is still transmitted, which remains alive, unfortunately“.