VENICE—Outside, police at the Venice Film Festival massed for a climate march that saw demonstrators swarm around the red carpet demanding action on climate devastation globally, and in Venice in particular, where oversized cruise ships are destroying the lagoon. Inside, the jury was meeting to award the Golden Lion for best film.
What they essentially effected was a coup. Roman Polanski’s An Officer and a Spy was by far the best critically received film of the festival, leading a poll of Italian and international critics by a wide margin. But the Lucrecia Martel jury, after she had already denounced the film but then claimed she was impartial, voted instead to hand the prize to what amounts to an openly fascist film, Warner Bros.’ Joker, with its utter contempt for working-class discontent, seeing it as only the expression of