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Viva Zapatero! is a 2005 documentary by Sabina Guzzanti telling her side of the story regarding the conflict with Silvio Berlusconi over a late-night TV political satire show broadcast on RAI-3.

Viva Zapatero!
Viva Zapatero (2005).jpg
Directed bySabina Guzzanti
Produced byAndrea Occhipinti, Sabina Guzzanti
Written bySabina Guzzanti
StarringSabina Guzzanti
Music byRiccardo Giagni
CinematographyPaolo Santolini
Edited byClelio Benevento
Release date
  • 2005 (2005)
Running time
80 min

The show, RAIot (a play on the name of the Italian state public TV: RAI, and the English word riot), lampooned prime minister Berlusconi. Since it wasn't considered a satirical show, but a political one, it was cancelled after the first episode.



Viva Zapatero! is titled after the famous "Viva Zapata!" and it also refers to the Spanish prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who, immediately after gaining power in Spain, ensured that the head of the state-run public broadcaster would no longer be a political appointee[citation needed] (as opposed to Italy).


The TV broadcasting of the satirical program RAIot was censored in November 2003 after the comedian, Sabina Guzzanti, made outspoken criticism of the Berlusconi media empire. Mediaset, one of Berlusconi's companies, sued the Italian state broadcasting company RAI because of the Guzzanti show asking for 20 million Euro for "damages" and from November 2003 she was forced to appear only in theatres around Italy.

In August 2005, it was the sleeper hit of the Venice International Film Festival, receiving a 15-minute standing ovation after its premiere screening. When it opened in Italian theaters, over 200,000 people went to see it in the first week. Its success resulted in an invitation to the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.


Official Selection – Sundance Film Festival 2006
Official Selection – Tribeca Film Festival 2006

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