Two Italian women look back at a decade of representative politics fighting for women’s rights in the (post) Berlusconi era. Amused, dispirited, annoyed, and anguished they assess how much – or how little – they managed to change.
A total disinterest in others. Extreme opportunism. Superficiality. Extreme consumerism. The contrary of ecologism. The opposite of altruism. A series of disvalues that have ruined this country. Such is the character of Berlusconism as diagnosed by Daniela de Pietri, a local politician in Italy, who is one of two protagonists in the documentary I Had a Dream. Along with her friend and comrade in representative politics, Manuela Ghizzoni, she interprets a struggle for change in an Italy in crisis, both while the struggle is ongoing and after the dreams have been shattered.
Reflecting on a career
We meet the two women in a theatre, watching clips from the documentary about themselves, and thus the perspective shifts back and forth: From the camera following their political lives as they happen to requesting their assessments with hindsight.
«We meet the two women in a theatre, watching clips from the documentary about themselves.»
Daniela de Pietri and Manuela Ghizzoni have both been elected for Partito Democratico – Daniela for the local municipal council in Carpi, Modena, near Bologna, and Manuela for the national Parliament. We do not get to know where they come from politically and running for the relatively new PD could mean anything from the Social Christian movement or the former Communist Party to the social-liberal Italian Renewal fraction. Judging from their statements throughout the film it is, however, probably more the leftist parts of the PD than the centrist ones that the two women are shaped by, but leftist in the system-believer sense.
They were central, the documentary suggests, in forming Se non ora quando? [if not now, when?] in 2011, a women’s campaign that erupted in protest against the grotesque sexism of the then prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. The fact that women had – and still have – a long way to go before obtaining just some minimum respect in Italy becomes crystal clear in a scene where Daniela de Pietri is proposing to establish a shelter for women in her local municipality in northern Italy.