Parallel Mothers (Madres paralelas) directed by Pedro Almodóvar, starring Penélope Cruz, Milena Smit, Israel Elejalde, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, along with Julieta Serrano and Rossy De Palma is the Opening Film, in Competition, of the 78th Venice International Film Festival (September 1 – 11 2021).
In the film, two women, Janis and Ana, coincide in a hospital room where they are going to give birth. Both are single and got pregnant by accident. Janis, middle-aged, doesn’t regret it and she is exultant. The other, Ana, an adolescent, is scared, repentant and traumatized. Janis tries to encourage her while they move like sleepwalkers along the hospital corridors. The few words they exchange in these hours will create a very close link between the two, which chance will undertake to develop and complicate in such a decisive way that it will change the lives of both.
“I was born as a film director in 1983 in Venice…” – says Pedro Almodóvar – “…in the Mezzogiorno Mezzanotte section. Thirty-eight years later I am called to open the festival. I cannot explain the joy and the honor, and how much this means to me without falling into complacency. I am very grateful to the festival for this recognition and hope to be up to it”.
Alberto Barbera says “I am grateful to Pedro Almodóvar for having given us the privilege of opening the Film Festival with his new movie, an intense and sensitive portrait of two women as they contend with a pregnancy with unpredictable consequences, women’s solidarity, and sexuality that is experienced in full freedom and without hypocrisy, all against the backdrop of a reflection on the ineluctable need for truth that is to be unwaveringly pursued. This is a very welcome return to Venice in Competition for the recipient of our 2019 Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, many years after the success of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown the movie that marked his definitive triumph on the international scene”.
Parallel Mothers (Madres paralelas) will screen Wednesday September 1st, ;in the Sala Grande at the Palazzo del Cinema (Lido di Venezia), on the opening night of the 78th Venice Film Festival.