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'Baaria' opens Venice festival

September 03, 2009|Reuters

The Venice Film Festival opened Wednesday with the big-budget Italian movie "Baaria," a sentimental sweep through 20th century Sicily taking in Fascism, war, Communism and the mafia.

Billed as one of Italy's most expensive movies, costing $36 million, the first homemade film to open Venice in about 20 years kicked off 11 days of screenings, photo shoots, parties and red-carpet glamour on the Lido island.

Director Giuseppe Tornatore, whose 1988 movie "Cinema Paradiso" won a foreign-language film Oscar, said the story of a poor family living through the upheavals of the last century was partly based on his memories of life in Sicily.

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