"Processo per stupro" (Trial for rape) is a very difficult film to watch, in my opinion, especially for a woman. It is a documentary about a real trial for rape in Latina (Rome, Italy) in 1978. It played a major role in the debate about reforming the law on rape in Italy.
In the trial, nothing sensational happens. We assist to the hearing of the denouncer confronted with the four accused, and to the pleading of the lawyers. In the Italian system, there is no room for the "coups de theatre" of American law films.
What captures our attention then ?
The families of the accused, justifying the deed because "There is nothing bad for a man to have fun, whereas women are disgusting nowadays".
The slow, captivating, merciless attempt of the counsels for the defence to inquiring about sexual practices of the violence and the private life of the girl, tending to discredit and degrade her. Innuendo, winking, slips of the tongue turn the victim into the accused. A "bad girl", a whore who tempted the four virtuous husbands and fathers.
And the pleading of the woman lawyer representing the victim. A very famous woman lawyer in Italy, I admired so much her self-control, her utmost composure while vibrating with indignation.
Luckily for me, I have discovered very recently. I guess that if I had watched it when I was young, I would have had more difficulties with men. Luckily for me, one reads Italian people were shocked too in watching this in 1979, and one can watch fragments of this video on youtube, and read the comments of Italian male users, who are embarrassed and ashamed of what could happen in Italy only 30 years ago.
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