Sabina Guzzanti

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Sabina Guzzanti
Sabina Guzzanti-Venezia.jpg
Sabina Guzzanti at the 64th Venice Film Festival
Born (1963-07-25) 25 July 1963 (age 51)
Rome, Italy
Occupation Satirist, Actress, Writer, Director, Producer
Parents Paolo Guzzanti (father)
Awards European Film Awards - Best Documentary Award
2005 Viva Zapatero! (Nominated)
Sundance Film Festival - Grand Jury Prize
2006 Viva Zapatero! (Nominated)

Sabina Guzzanti (born 25 July 1963) is an Italian satirist, actress, writer and producer whose work is devoted to examining social and political life in Italy.

Early life[edit]

Born in Rome as the eldest daughter of celebrated Italian political commentator and journalist Paolo Guzzanti (former senator of Forza Italia, incumbent deputy and deputy secretary for Italian liberal party), she graduated from the Academy of Dramatic Arts of Rome.[1] Her first appearances on stage were at the side of her brother Corrado, a skilled comedian known for parody and imitation.


Guzzanti's career began when she took part in a series of successful television comedy formats such as Proffimamente... non stop (directed by Enzo Trapani), L'araba fenice (directed by Antonio Ricci), La TV delle ragazze and Scusate l'interruzione;[2] her imitations of the famous Italian porn star Moana Pozzi gave her popularity, and the Italian film director Giuseppe Bertolucci recruited her to star in his film I Cammelli.[1] Her career in this period was at its apex, as she starred in several films, toured Italian theatres with her own comedy shows (such as Con fervido zelo in 1991, and Non io: Sabina e le altre in 1994[2]), and even held her one-woman show La posta del cuore. Her first attempt at directing is the 1998 short Donna selvaggia.

In November 2003 Sabina Guzzanti wrote, directed and was featured in the first and only installment of Raiot, a late-night TV political satire show broadcast on Rai Tre. After lampooning Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi, she was sued by Silvio Berlusconi's Mediaset lawyers (notably Cesare Previti's law firm) for "lies and insinuation" and the show was pulled amid controversy; in the suing document Previti defined satire as "that thing which tends to minimize and to make a politician likeable, to diminish the social tensions" ("quella cosa che tende a sdrammatizzare e a rendere simpatico un politico, a diminuire le tensioni sociali"[3]) as the basis to accuse the show of not being satirical but a direct political attack. As a form of protest, the second instalment was recorded live in the Auditorium of Rome and broadcast by independent television networks; during the event among others Dario Fo, Beppe Grillo and Daniele Luttazzi gave her their support.[4] After that Sabina Guzzanti announced that the only official instalment of Raiot had completely vanished from the RAI's archives.[3]

Sabina Guzzanti presents her side of the story in her film Viva Zapatero! (2005). In the film, she shows how not only herself but also critics of Berlusconi are cracked down on with means like firing and lawsuits. The film also illustrates that making fun of Berlusconi and his politics is not accepted in the media controlled by Berlusconi.

At the end of 2005 she was once again allowed on television to feature in the last installment of Adriano Celentano's show Rockpolitik, but the producers "forbade" her to speak about Silvio Berlusconi.[5] After the victory of L'Unione in the 2006 elections and the progressive fading of Berlusconi's influence on the RAI, she declared she still wouldn't return to work at the RAI unless serious reforms were launched to make the company's management independent from the politicians.[6]

In July 2008, in front of thousands of cheering onlookers at Piazza Navona, Rome, Guzzanti made remarks about the Pope, saying that he would be dead in 20 years, and would end up in Hell as punishment for the Church's treatment of homosexuals, saying that he would soon be "tormented by great big demons - and very active (sexual) ones". Although threatened with punishments of up to five years in prison for these comments, she was not prosecuted.[7] Guzzanti discussed it on the seventh season finale of Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, which was critical of the Vatican.

Since 1987, Sabina Guzzanti has practiced Nichiren Buddhism as a member of the global Buddhist association Soka Gakkai International.[8]

In 2003, she was accused of using an anti-Semitic remarks and uttering an anti-Semitic slur on an Italian TV show.[9][10]




  • Reperto RaiOt., published by BUR Biblioteca Universale Rizzoli, 2005
  • Viva Zapatero!, published by BUR Biblioteca Universale Rizzoli, 2005
  • Il diario di Sabna Guzz, published by Einaudi, 2003
  • Mi consenta una riflessione (anche se non è il mio ramo), published by Baldini Castoldi Dalai, 2002


  1. ^ a b Biography on
  2. ^ a b Profile on La Repubblica's website - Cinema section.
  3. ^ a b Interview with Sabina Guzzanti, excerpt from an article of L'Unità
  4. ^ Kataweb | Speciali | Raiot all'Auditorium
  5. ^ Silvio? Non gradivano, ho trattato sulle battute, interview with Gino Castaldo for La Repubblica
  6. ^ La Guzzanti: non tornerò in una Rai lottizzata dall’Unione, interview with Paolo Conti for Corriere della Sera
  7. ^ Phil Stewart. Comic escapes prosecution for insulting pope, Reuters, Sept. 19, 2008
  8. ^ Article on Buddismo e Società
  9. ^ "di GIULIA CERASOLI LA GUZZANTI ha offeso tutti, dagli ebrei ai cattolici" [GIULIA CERASOLI has offended everyone from Jews to Catholics]. Il Tempo (in Italian) (Rome). November 18, 2003. 
  10. ^ Meotti, Giulio (June 13, 2011). "Italy against the Jews". Ynet Magazine. Retrieved July 23, 2014. 

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