The Vatican Transforms a Prison Into a Gallery


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Exploring Contrasts in “Dovecote” Film

An early version of “Dovecote,” a short, nearly wordless film directed by Marco Perego for exhibition at the Biennale, showcases a compelling contrast between the beauty of Venice and the stark reality within the Giudecca women’s prison.

The Concept of Freedom

Marco Perego, in a telephone interview, expressed his intention to juxtapose the picturesque scenery of Venice with the somber atmosphere inside the prison, aiming to provoke contemplation on the meaning of freedom.

An unnamed character portrayed by Zoe Saldaña is set to be released from the prison in the film, with 20 real inmates playing supporting roles. The film captures the anticipation and emotions surrounding the character’s impending release.

During the Biennale, “Dovecote” will be displayed in the prison’s visitation room as part of the Vatican Pavilion, a unique setting that enhances the film’s impact and message.

The Vatican’s involvement in the Biennale, particularly showcasing art within the prison, signifies a deepening connection between art, culture, and social institutions, with Pope Francis scheduled to make a historic visit during the event.

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