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Prostested Against Outside, Celebrated Inside: Woody Allen’s ‘Coup de Chance’ Makes Venice Appearance

In a case of contrasting situations, director Woody Allen’s newest film, Coup de Chance, was well-received at its debut at the Venice Film Festival on Monday night, but a group of protestors gathered outside the theater earlier that day argued against the ‘rape culture’ that they believe the festival enables. Here’s what we know:

What is ‘Coup de Chance’ about and what were the first reactions to the French film?

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This film basically explores the theme of chance and luck in life, telling the story of a seemingly perfect couple, Fanny (Lou de Laage) and Jean (Melvil Poupaud), who are both professionally accomplished and still in love after years of marriage. However, when Fanny bumps into her old highschool classmate Alain (Neils Schneider), she soon finds herself drawn to him, challenging the perfect picture that has always been sketched of her marriage. The thriller film is Woody Allen’s 50th film as a director and his first project ever to be shot and narrarated solely in French.

Source: IMDB

The controversial director’s Coup de Chance, was met with a hearty and enthusiastic audience response at its premiere on Monday night at the Lido. The 87-year-old auteur drew a long standing ovation from the crowd, including his cast consisting of Lou de Laage, Valerie Lemercier, Melvil Poupaud, and Niels Schneider. The applause lasted for a full three minutes, as Allen and his cast members waved and acknowledged the crowd from the grand balcony of Sala Grande cinema. The inclusion of Coup de Chance in Venice is the most significant festival platform Allen has had in a while, and the movie’s distributor Metropolitan Filmexport plans to release the film in France on September 27.

Why were people protesting agaisnt Woody Allen’s Venice film inclusion?

Source: Marechal Aurore / ABACA / Shutterstock

While the mood inside the theatre was celebratory as the film made its debut, outside the situation was starkly different. A group of protestors marched past the cinema’s entrance, shouting slogans against the “rape culture” of the Venice Film Festival, while also adding that they were “speaking for those without a voice against the director rapists.” The demonstrators criticized the organization for providing a platform to Allen – who has been accused of harassment and inappropriate behavior – and took aim at the festival’s leadership, which they deemed complicit in allowing such behavior to persist. Previously, the festival has also faced repeated criticism due to the inclusion of films created by directors accused of sexual assault, such as Woody Allen and Roman Polanski. According to clips of the event circulating on social media, the protestors also handed out flyers set to encourage the fest to “turn the spotlight off of rapists.”

Source: EPA / Daily Mall