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Still another story: When motion picture Industry defends the children

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the cast of the short film. Photo by Stefano Guindani

Venice Lido, September 7th – During the 72nd Venice Film Festival, One More pictures and Rai cinema presented with great success the short film “Ancora un’altra storia” (Still another story), produced by for Double Defense, the association created by the show girl Michelle Hunziker and Lawyer Giulia Bongiorno as women’s aid against stalking and harassment. But this time the theme is different and tells, through three beautiful stories, the parental alienation that increasingly affects and harms children who suffer the psychological abuse of separated parents.

Written and directed by Gabriele Pignotta, the short film stars Raoul Bova, Vinicio Marchioni, Rolando Ravello, Chiara Francini, Andrea Osvart and Ambra Angiolini who generously wanted to join this important initiative.

Michelle Hunziker and Giulia Bongiorno

During the conference, Michelle Hunziker explained the progress which over the years Double Defense has made and why it was now important to defend and protect even the children. “For the children it’s a dream to see mom and dad to be together but too often this dream is shattered when the parents separate and, because of revenge, one of them begins to speak ill about the other, committing violence on their own children who inevitably suffer the psychological trauma. Even if we don’t hear much about it, these kind of cases, unfortunately, are becoming very common”.

Lawyer Giulia Bongiorno explained the necessity to create a law that punishes more severely this type of violence. “Today’s judgments recognizes the parental alienation but it limits to decide who the minor will be with. We are instead proposing to make one more step; the parent who destroys a child exerting psychological pressure, has to be criminally prosecuted.”

The producer Manuela Cacciamani was very proud of the result. “It’s the second year that we work with Rai Cinema for this mission and I want to express my thanks because it is a public service that is always at the forefront on nobile causes. Even our sponsors and partners invested into this important cause. Being a mother made me care about this project even more then any others I’m working to.”

From left: M. Hunziker, G. Bongiorno, M. Cacciamani, F. Cutrano

Fabiana Cutrano, executive at Rai Cinema explained how the collaboration with Double Defense was born. “I really want to thank Marvi De Angelis, because it all started when she came to us two years ago, proposing to support the association of Michelle and lawyer Bongiorno through motion picture Industry. Since then we started to develop the project just for the first year and today, becoming so important, we decided to present it each time in a different international film festival. We believe that motion picture is the best way to spread a social message so delicate like this. I thank also these talented actors whom, despite their busy schedules, decided to join the cause, led by enormously talented film director Gabriele Pignotta, which was able to create those beautiful stories that were touching even on set.”

After the supporting speech of Mr. Alberto Barbera, director of the Festival, we asked director Pignotta and the two founder of Double Defense association for a comment about this experience.

Gabriele Pignotta – photo by Stefano Guindani

Gabriele how did you come up with these three stories?

Today this argument is so prevalent and it affects the lives of real people so what I did was just listening personal stories of people who are close to me. Luckily I don’t have experienced this kind of situation but unfortunately around me there are many friends who suffer from this discomfort. So just like I do before writing my comedies, I listen, I look, I observe and finally I create a story that is the picture of reality. Hopefully this emotional message goes right to the heart of separated parents and maybe they will stop fighting for a moment, thinking more about their children and how much love they need around them.

Michelle what kind of aid you gave to the victims of violence over the years?

We have an average of about 1500-2000 women victims of violence who contact us each year asking for help. At this point we give them free legal, psychological and health consult and then we also do communication, which is why we get the name Double Defense. Communication is a fundamental part of our statute because it’s the only way to inform people and making them feel not alone anymore. We try to protect them, taking them by the hand, trying to prevent any dangerous situation. Many people do not realize how dangerous could be domestic violence and so often it ends up badly on news. As for children, we receive help requests from mothers and fathers who fail to see growing their own children because they are alienated from the other parent. The best way to protect children is therefore to let this law sanctioning the parent in order to stop the psychological violence.

Lawyer Bongiorno what expectations do you have in terms of law about this?

We are asking from 6 months to 3 years for this violation, but what interests us, rather than the sentencing itself, is to prevent children from being used as a war tool between parents because this is not acceptable. The episodes of domestic violence should not be ignored or left unpunished whenever it affects a woman or a young kid. We don’t have to be worried about the consequences of the punishment inflicted to the parent who is causing this. Our purpose is always to prevent and not to punish.

by Alessandro Parrello
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