Bard News & Events

Press Release

Bill Emmott, Former Editor-in-Chief of The Economist, Presents His New Documentary at Bard College on October 17

Mark Primoff
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Bill Emmott, former Editor-in-Chief of The Economist, will present and discuss his new documentary film Girlfriend in a Coma on Thursday, October 17, at 6 pm in the Jim Ottaway Jr. Film Theater, Milton and Sally Avery Arts Center at Bard College. Called “beautiful and cruel” by Le Monde, Girlfriend in a Coma—cowritten by Emmott with Annalisa Piras, the film’s director—deals with the current political and economic crisis in Italy. Sponsored by the Italian Studies, Film Studies, Historical Studies, and Languages and Literature Programs, the screening is free and open to the public. The documentary is in English and Italian with English subtitles. A discussion and Q&A with filmmaker Bill Emmott immediately follows the screening.
In this film, Emmott teams with filmmaker Piras to explore Italy’s political, economic, and social decline over the past 20 years—the product of a moral collapse unmatched in the West. Lauded for its creative combination of animation, interviews, and hard facts, Girlfriend in a Coma has caused much controversy in Italy. The Observer calls it an “intelligent, imaginatively presented documentary.” Emmott’s quest to understand both “Mala Italia” and “Buona Italia” includes interviews with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti; philosopher and novelist Umberto Eco; film director Nanni Moretti; women’s rights activist Lorella Zanardo; FIAT’s outspoken Canadian-Italian CEO Sergio Marchionne; the author of Gomorrah, Roberto Saviano; and many others. Girlfriend in a Coma is part of a campaign to wake Italy up from 20 years of political neglect, to warn other countries that a similar destiny could await them, and to serve as a call to action at all levels of society.
Bill Emmott is an international journalist and consultant, having been editor-in-chief of The Economist from 1993 to 2006. The author of a dozen books, most of them about Japan and Asia, his latest book was Good Italy, Bad Italy: Why Italy Must Conquer Its Demons to Face the Future (Yale University Press 2012). His documentary Girlfriend in a Coma has been seen by more than two million people. Emmott is also chairman of the trustees of the London Library, a trustee of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and a member of the Swiss Re Chairman’s Advisory Panel. With Annalisa Piras, he is now working on a new documentary about the threats to the European dream, and has cofounded The Wake Up Foundation, dedicated to research and communication about the decline of the West.

back to top

This event was last updated on 10-11-2013