Sabina Guzzanti at the 64th Venice Film Festival
|Born||July 25, 1963
|Occupation||Satirist, Actress, Writer, Director, Producer|
Sabina Guzzanti (born July 25, 1963) is an Italian actress devoted to comedy and satire. Her pieces, her movies and her public declarations display an engaged attention for social and political Italian life.
Born in Rome as the eldest daughter of celebrated Italian political commentator and journalist Paolo Guzzanti (a senator belonging to Forza Italia party from which on February 2, 2009 he left and joined Italian liberal party. He was elected deputy secretary on February 20.), she graduated from the Academy of Dramatic Arts of Rome. Her first appearances on stage were at the side of her brother Corrado, a skilled comedian known for parody and imitation. Her career began when she took part in a series of successful television comedy formats such as Proffimamente... non stop (directed by Enzo Trapani), L'araba fenice (directed by Antonio Ricci (producer)), La TV delle ragazze and Scusate l'interruzione; her imitations of the famous Italian porn star Moana Pozzi gave her popularity, and the Italian film director Giuseppe Bertolucci recruited her to star in his film I Cammelli. Her career in this period was at its apex, as she starred in several films, toured Italian theatres with her own comedy shows (such as Con fervido zelo in 1991, and Non io: Sabina e le altre in 1994), and even held her one-woman show La posta del cuore. Her first attempt at directing is the 1998 short Donna selvaggia.
In November 2003 Sabina Guzzanti wrote, directed and was featured in the first and only installment of Raiot, a late-night TV political satire show broadcast on Rai Tre. After lampooning Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi, she was sued by Silvio Berlusconi's Mediaset lawyers (notably Cesare Previti's law firm) for "lies and insinuation" and the show was pulled amid controversy; in the suing document Previti defined satire as "that thing which tends to minimize and to make a politician likeable, to diminish the social tensions" ("quella cosa che tende a sdrammatizzare e a rendere simpatico un politico, a diminuire le tensioni sociali") as the basis to accuse the show of not being satirical but a direct political attack. As a form of protest, the second instalment was recorded live in the Auditorium of Rome and broadcast by independent television networks; during the event among others Dario Fo, Beppe Grillo and Daniele Luttazzi gave her their support. After that Sabina Guzzanti announced that the only official instalment of Raiot had completely vanished from the RAI's archives.
Sabina Guzzanti presents her side of the story in her film Viva Zapatero! (2005). In the film, she shows how not only herself but also critics of Berlusconi are cracked down on with means like firing and law suits. The film also illustrates that making fun of Berlusconi and his politics is not accepted in the media controlled by Berlusconi.
At the end of 2005 she was once again allowed on television to feature in the last installment of Adriano Celentano's show Rockpolitik, but the producers "forbade" her to speak about Silvio Berlusconi. After the victory of L'Unione in the 2006 elections and the progressive fading of Berlusconi's influence on the RAI, she declared she still wouldn't return to work at the RAI unless serious reforms were launched to make the company's management independent from the politicians.
In July 2008, in front of thousands of cheering onlookers at Piazza Navona, Rome, Guzzanti made remarks about the Pope, saying that he should end up in hell as punishment for the church's treatment of homosexuals, saying that he would soon be "tormented by great big poofter devils - and very active ones". Although she could be facing five years in prison for these comments, she will not be prosecuted.