During the 75th Venice Film Festival an angel appeared on the Red Carpet. Italian journalist and writer, Emanuela del Zompo has created Grunda, a bride angel, to talk about the tragically current issue of Femicide, but with a very personal style. Who is Grunda and what’s her mission?
Grunda is a broken-wing angel coming back on earth still dressed as a bride (she died on the day of her marriage, killed by her just promised spouse). Forgetful and lost, she does not remember her earthly life and her mission.
This is the lead character of the cartoon, described as a mix of Bridget Jones and Gian Burrasca (a rascal): she is solar, funny, a bungler faced with her own exuberance, which she cannot contain.
Grunda’s mission is to be able to fly again with her wings to come back among the other angels: easy if we think of Cupid’s. Yet Grunda is different from the other angels. Grunda is a special angel with a sense of dedication to women’s and men’s good. She believes in Prince Charming and eternal love and does not realize that earthly love is far different from what is read in fairy tales. Grunda makes the same mistake as most women do: she believes that man is jealous and violent because being so he shows his love to his beloved. Conversely, that is not reality: real love has respect to the partner, it is not stifling, it does not create prisoners, it does not kill. Grunda talks about femicide.
How come you thought about a cartoon as a means to talk about such a pressing issue?
A cartoon is more effective and direct a means to communicate with adolescents, yet with adults too. This cartoon story is intended to be a preventive and educational tool to raise awareness on and tackle gender violence. And what’s best to talk about this subject? Unfortunately, in Italy people reads each day less and a psychology or criminology essay seemed to me not so effective to capture the attention of people and reflect. That is why I believed that a story told through images could draw the attention of the public at large. Images stay fixed in your mind more and faster than words.
Which is the target public of your initiative?
Schools: Grunda was created to be disseminated among students and teachers in schools as a means to raise awareness, reflections and constructive debate on subjects like violence and love.
Is your project more informative or educational?
It is informative but above all educational. By that I mean that for violence trend to be reversed, culture and the concept of relationships have to change first. A few days ago I was travelling and talking with a man about the crime news on violence and homicides we hear each day. He told me that man is not used to woman’s sense of independence and the new role she has in the society. Once, women only thought about their husbands and kids, the house and the family. Today women are free to cut off relationships and some men cannot accept the consequent sense of abandonment, they live their relationship with a woman with a sense of possession, their mate is an object of their own. So they end up with killing her when they feel abandoned and betrayed. So, I think that the concept of man-woman relationship and, above all, the vision and education that kids receive in the family on how a sentimental relationship must be managed, need be changed at their very cultural root, starting right from schools.
Which goals did you achieve so far and what are your future plans for Grunda?
With its presentation at the 75th Venice Film Festival, Grunda has promoted on the Red Carpet a very important message. This is already a significant achievement since the cartoon has focused media’s attention: I mean that communicating a so pressing and important message is a successful goal per se. Currently, many opportunities are being evaluated to get the focus of the public at large on the cartoon, such as, e.g., shooting a short film (or a pilot TV instalment) to submit for TV or cinema production, that sure are powerful tools to say something.
Moreover, along with working at a script and a development plan to achieve this goal, some meetings are also being organized with several school teachers and principals in Marches, Apulia and Lazio (regions where the first two Grunda’s episodes were located), in order for students to get the cartoon story. So far Grunda has been fully self-funded and self-produced by the project’s author and is on sale on the platform amazon.it. The cartoon is planned to be also distributed and sold in bookshops and newsstands, along with several comics exhibitions, such as Romics (in Rome), where its presence has already been announced. The cartoon has been translated in German and, on February 2019, it will be presented in Berlin, Germany. Soon it will also be translated into English, French and Danish. Actually, Femicide is not a problem in Italy alone, but rather global.
We greet the author with a little reflection: it was correct to have spoken, until today, of femicide only in a dramatic and violent way? Who can say? Meanwhile, we will follow the activity of the “Angelo Grunda” on the various social networks to support her on this difficult path.
Writer Gabriella Chiarappa