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Amongst the international series of testimonies for the Lunàdigas Archive, collected in Washingtin DC during a conference on motherhood, Giulia, a cinema expert, tells us her story pointing out a greater open-mindedness in the US compared to Italy towards themes such as abortion and motherhood. Moreover, she reflects upon the role of cinema as a language able to convey positive messages to women on the most sensitive subjects.

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GIULIA: «I think I have a lot of interest towards the issue of motherhood for several aspects, both concerningthe mother-daughter relationship but also the mother-father relationship.
I have always been interested in this, reading a lot of literature books.
Then I think for personal experiences, I also approached these somewhat taboo topics let’s say, like infertility or abortion.
People prefer to be silent, not to discuss certain things that may affect women.
I don’t know, there are different things, I think for example postpartum depression is a matter that remains very much confined to the woman’s experience, and people around don’t understand what can happen to so many women.
Regarding abortion, I think it is still seen as shameful to have one.
Ending a pregnancy is still a huge shame, something to hide, Na thing to do secretly to… I think maybe now women open up a little bit more, but there are difficulties that come from many changes, also legal ones, that are happening in so many Italian cities.
Even at legal level, I don’t know, I see many municipalities suddenly deciding to change the law, making it difficult for women who want to terminate their pregnancy.
There’s a strong political push also towards these very…
Too conservative ideas, I think.
Perhaps here in America there is more freedom to talk more about it.
I myself started to talk about it here, to address certain issues here rather than in Italy.
I think America is more open, especially in certain circles, for example in Academia or in similar environments, I think here in America there is more freedom to talk even willingness to confront here.
In Italy, in my opinion, I don’t feel it so strong, but maybe because living here I find it difficult to understand it.
I experience here much more freedom, but I read in the papers about many restrictions in Italy, so I experience it a little bit like that, no?
Here, I experience personally, and for Italy I live it through the media.
NICOLETTA: «I have heard you analyze these themes through films. Do you think they are good tools, which can be used by women to talk more deeply about certain topics?
Yes, absolutely.»
GIULIA: «I think cinema has an incredible expressive power and that can teach women
how to behave, how not to be afraid, how to try dealing with certain situations openly.
Even more than books in my opinion, cinema manages to have a gaze maybe even more… It manages to reach a larger audience, I think.
Anyway some films are criticised or otherwise poorly distributed, right?
So, for me, there are many difficulties for many people to actually see these films.
For example, the films I analysed, for instance Comencini’s “When the Night,” or even a film by Alina Marazzi’s “All About You,” are films that…
I think they may be better known in the world of Academia than by the average Italian.
I don’t know how far they have been able to reach an average audience, the part of the Italian audience not interested in these topics.
But I think there should be more of them instead, that the work in this direction should continue.
I think they were the beginning of something very important, I think these two directors have done something important that needs to be carried on.
And the more there are, the more they are talked about, so it becomes somehow a bit of a chain.
I believe it’s very important, I believe that cinema and literature have a huge importance to transmit values, new ideas.
From an all-Italian comparison, we now want to move to a more international comparison, as broadened as possible.
I think it’s a beautiful project and I’m very curious to see the documentary.
I think it’s very nice that this subject gets explored also outside of Italy.
I hope you’ll find as many foreign participants in this research of yours.»
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