Venice (AP) - The biggest star of the day was undoubtedly Brad Pitt. But the visit from Hollywood made on Thursday once rare in Venice.

The first fans were already waiting in the morning on the red carpet, where the 55-year-old should present the space adventure "Ad Astra" with Tommy Lee Jones, Liv Tyler and Ruth Negga. However, it took some time before he showed up at the festival for the first time - and this was used by the Saudi Arabian director Haifaa Al Mansour, who also presented a German co-production in the competition.

"Women around the world need to prove their skills and fight harder," said the 45-year-old. As a woman, unlike men, you do not radiate authority per se. "There will always be resistance." However, she dreams of a world in which women and men could really live together on an equal footing and added in tears "I want my daughter to experience exactly this in the future".

Her emotional and militant appearance fits perfectly with her film "The Perfect Candidate": A young doctor is running for election in Saudi Arabia, fighting against male-dominated society. Al Mansour, who has already garnered international acclaim with "The Girl Wadjda", once again proves to be a strong voice for the change in her homeland and the role of women.

At the press conference on "Marriage Story", the relationship between men and women was also a central issue - but on a more private level. After all, director Noah Baumbach tells a drama about a couple (played by Scarlett Johansson and Star Wars star Adam Driver) in the drama produced by the Netflix streaming service. The two still like each other, but once lawyers are turned on, the breakup becomes a dirty, hurtful and humiliating affair.

Baumbach, who also wrote the screenplay, reveals how two people, who once loved each other, are moving away from each other. The parents of a young son are portrayed in "Marriage Story" by Driver and Johansson with so many nuances that you feel the pain in the audience - a not always simple but intense experience.

Shortly thereafter, the stage was then Brad Pitt. With a flat cap and a simple shirt, the 55-year-old presented himself at the press conference in a decidedly casual manner. He also dominated the screen in "Ad Astra": In the science-fiction drama by James Gray, he plays the astronaut Roy McBride, whose father (Tommy Lee Jones) disappeared 29 years ago during a mission in space. Now there are signs that he is still alive, maybe even a threat to humanity.

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