The Reluctant Fundamentalist kickstarts Venice Film Festival

Mira Nair’s East-meets-West story opened the 69th Venice International Film Festival on August 29

The 69th Venice Film Festival opened Wednesday with Indian director Mira Nair’s political thriller that explores life changes of a young Pakistani man rising through the ranks on Wall Street after the 9/11 attack.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist was chosen to “highlight the growing role of female creativity in all spheres of culture and contemporary society”, Alberto Barbera, festival director, was quoted as saying by Xinhua. The movie, adapted from a book with the same title, would “provide much food for thought”, said Barbera. Female influence is an important theme of the festival, during which people will see multiple activities to promote awareness on female contribution to world cinema.

At a press conference before the opening of the event, Nair said, “I made The Reluctant Fundamentalist  to promote dialogue between West and East, and I hope it will help to break the wall between different cultures, races and religions.”

“For myself, I felt equal intimacy to both cultures,” said the Indian director who has lived in New York for many years.

The Lido island, where the event is staged, is now abuzz with well-known directors and actors. However, big names like George Clooney, Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp did not appear in the red carpet show like they did in the past years. This year’s festival will feature 18 movies in competition, with dozens more appearing in out-of-competition and Horizon sessions.