Viva Zapatero!

Director: Sabina Guzzanti
Screenwriters: Sabina Guzzanti

Institute History

  • 2006 Sundance Film Festival


Sabina Guzzanti's ferociously funny documentary deals with her own ill-fated television show, RAIot, which aired on RAI, the Italian public television service. The show featured comedy sketches in which Guzzanti, a brilliant clown, mimic, and physical comedienne, skewered the current Italian administration, and, most wickedly, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Criticizing his use of political and corporate influence to control 90 percent of Italian media, Guzzanti's program also raised questions about the systematic replacement of respected journalists with people in Berlusconi's own employ. After a single episode, which garnered raves, the show was threatened with a lawsuit by Berlusconi's corporation and unceremoniously given the ax.

Outraged, Guzzanti took to the streets, boldly confronting RAI executives and interviewing her colleagues from other European nations. One particularly telling segment compares Italian with French TV, where ruthless satire programs regularly include outrageous segments razzing the likes of Jacques Chirac, Pope John Paul II, and George Bush.

Viva Zapatero! (the title is a salute to the Spanish prime minister's progressive reforms) is not only an ingenious look at one woman's crusade against censorship; it is also a mischievous examination of the meaning of satire and a savvy critique of the current era of vast media corporations and the political forces that attempt to manipulate them.

— Elizabeth Richardson

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]