YOKO (Corpo a corpo)
by Maria Iovine
Documentary presented at Alice nella Città 2021 (Rome Film Festival).
From illness to success, from world champion dreams to gender battles. A twenty five-year old, a student, a champion, a defender of the rights of female athletes, an ambassador of a new model of beauty. This is Veronica Yoko Plebani, the Sun’s daughter.
Nowadays we talk a lot about body confidence, but the truth is that we live in the age of Instagram where those same young girls who hit “like” to the stretch marks proudly displayed by an influencer, try every filter available to hide their imperfections before posting a photo of themselves… With Veronica we go beyond all this, to the point that talking about body acceptance no longer applies. A body just has to be lived. The normal exceptionality of this girl speaks to all of us “normal” people. ‘Corpo a Corpo’ expresses precisely this duality, a non-existent comparison with a paradigm that is only evoked. -Maria Iovine
The Macaluso Sisters
by Emma Dante
Fiction feature film presented in competition at the 2020 Venice International Film Festival.
The story of Maria, Pinuccia, Lia, Katia and Antonella, five sisters of different ages born in Palermo and raised in an apartment on the top floor of a decaying building. Just as their apartment shows signs of aging, the five women too are shown as little girls, as mature women and then as elderly women. A human story based on feelings, resentment, choices.
I have been fond of the Macaluso Sisters for a long time. The play was born in 2014, about six years ago now, we travelled the world with them, and we still do. They have become sort of my sisters, and at some point I thought it might be interesting to give them a residence, a home. In the play they live in a stage space that is completely empty, with no set design, on the stage there are only shields and swords lying on the ground, nothing else. The idea of taking these sisters and placing them at an address with a house number seemed to me the right thing to do, I did it for them…. I succeeded in this goal because when I wrote it – with Giorgio Vasta and Elena Stancanelli – we gave a lot of importance to the whole sequence of objects, and the anatomy of the house was very well described in the script. Then when I was confronted with the bodies, the actresses, the difficulties you encounter on the set, I realised that you don’t always manage to achieve the intentions that the script suggests. I was a little afraid when I realised that the bodies of these twelve women were stronger than the objects. I worked with all of them for two whole weeks, we rehearsed every single character… it was a thorough work, the focus was on the details, on the simplest things. Not everything went into the movie, I cut many scenes in the editing, but that does not take away from the great emulation work that was done by each of them. – Emma Dante
Being My Mom
by Jasmine Trinca
Fiction short film presented at the 2020 Venice International Film Festival
A mother and a daughter wander the streets of a sunny and deserted Rome. Their relationship is based on silences and unspoken emotions, on struggling, and frequent role reversals.
In the beginning, as the title suggests, the film was supposed to be some sort of performance in which I, myself, would play my mother and try to place myself in her shoes. It would work on a paradox: a daughter thinks she’s her own mother and at the same time, it was me playing my mother, in a reversal of roles. The initial idea was too much for me: acting out my own experiences while directing my first film. I wanted to look rather than be looked at. Alba is not just a friend, she’s also an actress whom I admire a lot and who can connect with the material at hand in infinite ways. She can be comic, clown-like, but also sorrowful and profound, which is hard to find. She’s like Monica Vitti. She’s an actress who can surprise and disorient. I don’t like mannerism and self-consciousness but actresses who ‘stumble’ and know how to change the rhythm. I also wanted to bring out a kind of sensuality in her, because I have memories of a very free, magnetic mother. I loved watching her. In the end, it was a personal but very collective work. – Jasmine Trinca
by Valentina Pedicini
Documentary presented at the 2019 IDFA – International Documentary Festival Amsterdam
A community led by a kung-fu master has lived on the hills of Marche since 1998; its followers are called “The Warriors of Light”. A poetic and emotional journey into an unknown world in search of the motivations that drive such radical choices and the reasons for devotion.
My path started 11 years ago, when I had the chance to make a short about the Warriors of Light. It just happened by chance, and at the time I was studying in a film school in Bolzano. One day, I saw one of their street performances. In particular, I was struck by one of the disciples, Laura, who later became the protagonist of my film. I was impressed by her personality, which was so strong and ambiguous. Therefore, my initial goal was to tell a story about sport. Back then, I already had developed a strong immersive approach, so I asked to follow the group of athletes while they were training in the gym. However, I soon realised that the story I was going to tell was far from being about sport. Instead, my story should have focused on something much bigger, something having to do with faith and with radical life choices. But I wasn’t ready for that yet, so for eleven years I’ve worked on other projects. Then, two years ago I decided to visit the community again. I felt that there was a big story to tell, that needed to be achieved.– Valentina Pedicini
The Girl Has Flown
by Wilma Labate
Fiction feature film presented in competition at the 2021 Venice International Film Festival.
Nadia, a troubled teenager, lives in Trieste, a border city between many cultures and a place swept by a powerful wind. Her life is turned upside down after meeting a guy in a bar. Despite her young age, Nadia will be forced to make important choices.
I have told the story of an abuse because I am convinced that, unfortunately, abuses happen very often, and very often they are concealed and hushed up, either because of social conventions or because of the guilt that a woman keeps feeling for the rest of her life. Any case of violence has different nuances, it can be aggressive or simply whispered and maybe the person who suffers it does not have the strength to oppose it and lets it happen, but that does not cancel in any way the fact that it is wrong. One should enter worlds that are little investigated by cinema and the female world is one of those. Cinema is in dire need of this, because knowledge and curiosity about the female world is still very poor. – Wilma Labate