Trailers for a new movie featuring Italian prime minister SILVIO BERLUSCONI have been banned from the country’s state-run television network.
Bosses at RAI rejected an ad for Videocracy, featuring scantily-clad women and statistics claiming Italy has a low press freedom rating, insisting it is “offensive” to the leader’s reputation.
Ads for the film have also been blocked from channels privately owned by tycoon-politician Berlusconi’s company Mediaset.
Between them Mediaset and RAI’s three state television channels constitute 90 per cent of the country’s terrestrial television output.
RAI executives allege the trailer alluded to recent media stories accusing Berlusconi of infidelity – but director Erik Gandini claims his movie is about Italian culture, and features Berlusconi among a host of other key figures.
He tells the BBC, “It is a film about the present time. It is a film that talks about how Italy has become after all these years. Of course, Berlusconi is in the story.
“In a videocracy, the key to power is the image. In Italy, one man only has kept the domination of the image over three entire decades.”
Videocracy is due to premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September (09).