French film star Fanny Ardant arrived at the Venice Film Festival on Thursday amid continuing polemics over her recent expressions of admiration for the Red Brigades, Italy’s far-left terrorist movement, and its founder.
The 58-year-old French actress triggered the row last month by telling an Italian magazine: “I have always considered the Red Brigades phenomenon very absorbing and passionate“.
“Renato Curcio is a hero for me,” said the actress, referring to the leftist militant who founded the Red Brigades in 1970. Ardant praised Curcio for remaining true to his left-wing ideals. She said he “didn’t become a businessman” like his French left-wing contemporaries.
The Red Brigades, Italy’s most infamous far-left terrorist group, spread terror in the 1970s and 1980s. Their most notorious act was the 1978 murder of Christian Democrat leader Aldo Moro.
Curcio, 65, was captured in 1976 and sentenced to 30 years in prison for crimes committed by his organisation. He himself never killed anyone. He was released from prison in 1993 and now runs a small leftwing publishing company. Curcio has not expressed remorse for his former activities.
Ardant’s comments also drew angry criticism from members of Italy’s centre-right opposition, some of whom said she should stay away from the Venice fest. Other critics shocked by the actress’s words said she should be introduced to the families of Red Brigade victims while in Venice. Ardant subsequently apologised in a rather nonsensical interview with Italian state broadcaster Rai.
“My words have caused suffering to those who have already suffered and whose wounds have not yet healed, and for that I apologise,” she said.
Ardant’s view is actually very common between many italian and french leftists. They think political murders are quite simply “episodes” in the history, and they do tend to forget victims and their families. Provided killers are communist, of course.