Politics & Transgender Films Spotlighted at Venice Film Fest 2022


The Venice International Film Festival, which turns 90 this year, kicked off on Wednesday with a line-up of the latest works from directors worldwide and different initiatives that take political aim at everything from identity politics to the Russian and Iranian governments. Even controversial former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in attendance.


Two films in the official category of this year’s Venice Film Festival in Italy, which begins on Wednesday, feature transgender protagonists, including a 12-year-old girl who thinks she is a boy. Despite one of the films being in English and featuring a cast that is primarily American, both movies are Italian productions.



In the movie L’immensità, Penelope Cruz plays the mother of Adriana, a 12-year-old girl who wants to alter her name and gender because she insists she is male. The Italian-language film, which was directed by Emanuele Crialese, is set in the 1970s and follows the emotional ups and downs of other members of the close family.


David Ng from Breitbart reports:

Crialese cast a non-transgender actress in the role of Adriana.

“The perception she has of herself is that she is a girl who is born biologically as a child who feels that she is a boy,” Crialese told Variety.

“It’s like there is this misperception around her [in the way she is perceived by others] and the mystery of it is: What is this misperception that she feels? Is it a mental problem? Is it something that will pass? A fleeting thing? The fact is that, more than the other two children, she embodies distress.”

Variety article claimed that the director is also transgender but it remains unclear if that it is true.

The English-language Monica stars American transgender actor Trace Lysette as a trans “woman” who returns home to care for her ailing mother (Patricia Clarkson). Lysette previously appeared in the Amazon Studios series Transparent, also playing a transgender person.



As if it couldn’t get more political, Ng also notes that the film festival shows fealty or loyalty to China. The festival’s programming only refers to Taiwan as “Taipei,” the capital city, once again erasing the existence of the independent county, as they did last year. The world’s oldest film festival is holding its 79th edition and through September 10, marking 90 years since its inaugural event in 1932 (several editions were postponed due to war and other reasons).

Avatar photo

Karina Smitt

I'm not as much of a "CoMiCs NeEd MoAr DiVeRsItY & iNcLuSiOn" advocate as my girlfriend often is, but we both love funny books, crispy bacon, straight bourbon and hip hop. Add yet, we never vote the same, so we cancel each other out... and that works perfectly in my book!