Venice: Dante depicts standstill in debut film

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By PATRICIA THOMAS, Associated Press

VENICE, Italy (AP) — Italian director Emma Dante says her debut film "A Street in Palermo," a modern-day Sicilian twist on a Western duel, is a story of gridlock which "shows where we are today."

In the film, Dante's character, a frustrated middle-aged lesbian, comes to a stalemate with a stubborn grieving widow when the cars they are driving come grill-to-grill on a narrow backstreet in a poor Palermo neighborhood. Both women refuse to back up as the drama unfolds around them.

Dante said the women's stalemate can be likened to Italy, stuck for years in an economic crisis. "It is a particular moment in our history," Dante noted.

"A Street in Palermo," which premiered Thursday, is among 20 films competing for the Golden Lion.

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