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Oct 13, 2013 at 7:30 pm

Girlfriend in a Coma

With Bill Emmott, Joseph Luzzi, Susan Chira and Federica Sasso.

“A very beautiful and cruel documentary” – Le Monde

“An intelligent, imaginatively presented documentary” – The Observer

Girlfriend In A Coma, Directed by Annalisa Piras, narrated by Bill Emmott


Girlfriend in a Coma

60 min., 2013, Italy

Former Economist Editor Bill Emmott and Filmmaker Annalisa Piras explore Italy’s political, economic and social decline over the past 20 years, the product of a moral collapse unmatched anywhere else in the West.

Emmott’s quest to understand both “Mala Italia” and “Buona Italia” includes Interviews with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, philosopher and novelist Umberto Eco, film director Nanni Moretti, women’s rights activist Lorella Zanardo, FIAT’s outspoken Canadian-Italian CEO Sergio Marchionne, the author of “Gomorrah” Roberto Saviano and many others.The aim of Girlfriend in a Coma and its associated campaign is to wake Italy up to the true nature and severity of its political, economic and moral sickness over the past 20 years, to warn other countries that a similar destiny could await them, and to serve as a call to action, at all levels of society.

Their call now for an Italian Spring, by connecting Italians all over the world to Italians inside, is a call for Italians to act, to demand change and not to stop until this change happens. This process is not just about one demonstration or one election. It is a task for the next decade if Italy is to cure the main diseases that have put it into a coma.

Bill Emmott was born in London, joined The Economist in 1980, and served as editor-in-chief of that publication from 1993-2006. He is now chairman of the London Library, has written regular columns for The Times, and writes for La Stampa and L’Espresso in Italy. In 2003, he became the first and so far only foreign recipient of a prestigious Italian journalism prize, “E’ Giornalismo”, for The Economist’s coverage of Berlusconi. The author of 12 books, mostly on Japan and Asia, his latest was about Italy, published first in Italian translation in October 2010: “Forza, Italia: Come Ripartire Dopo Berlusconi” (Courage, Italy: how to start again after Berlusconi). The book was rewritten, updated and expanded for publication in English as “Good Italy, Bad Italy” in 2012.

Joseph Luzzi, Associate Professor of Italian at Bard College, is the author of the forthcoming memoir My Two Italies (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014), the story of his Italian family’s immigration and an insider’s look at the turbulence of life in Italy today, especially during the Berlusconi years. He is a frequent contributor of essays and reviews to publications including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Bookforum, and the Times Literary Supplement. His first book, Romantic Europe and the Ghost of Italy (Yale University Press, 2008), received the Scaglione Prize for Italian Studies from the Modern Language Association, and his book A Cinema of Poetry: Aesthetics of the Italian Art Film is forthcoming from Johns Hopkins University Press (2014).

Susan Chira is assistant managing editor for news for The New York Times. For nearly eight years, from January 2004 to  September 2011, Ms. Chira was foreign editor, supervising foreign correspondents around the globe.  She has held a range of editing and reporting positions in her 30-year career at The Times, including editor of the Week in Review, deputy foreign editor, Tokyo correspondent, national education reporter, and several reporting assignments in the Metropolitan and Business Day sections. She is the author of “A Mother’s Place,”(HarperCollins, 1998), an examination of working motherhood. Ms. Chira is married, with two children.

Federica Sasso is an Italian journalist and producer based in New York City. She is a contributor to Italian news outlets as “Il Secolo XIX”, Linkiesta, IL, Altreconomia and has worked as a radio producer for “Il Sole24Ore”, the Italian Financial Daily. Before moving to New York she was a producer for Luben Production, an Italian production company focused on political issues. Federica was a Collaborative Fellow at UnionDocs and studied documentary film at the Scuola di Cinema, Televisione e Nuovi Media of Milan.


Oct 13, 2013
7:30 pm – 10:00 pm


352 Onderdonk Avenue
Ridgewood, NY 11385 United States
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