I saw Nanni Moretti’s film in a tiny cinema and thought it deserved much better exposure.
The film is subtle, gentle and deep. It is impossible not to think that it is the product of the director’s personal experience. The sequences of private and work life and how the two worlds interact alternate masterfully. But more than this, Moretti challenges stereotypes of gender roles by casting a young woman as the film director and it is the son who gives up his job to care for their mother. The dying mother, who was a teacher of Latin helps her granddaughter until her death.
I cannot stop comparing the infantilised old women of Middle August Lunch with the teacher of Latin. Is it possible not to think of Amour where the old woman was also a teacher visited by a former student? Does the flood in the director’s flat and the way the mother’s flat is filmed also takes us to Haneke’s film?
The recurring pronouncements of the director who tells her actors not to lose themselves in their roles, admonish me to think of real life and fiction.
I translate Jacques Mandelbaum critic of Le Monde : …but the way the two narratives dialogue is no less impressive. In truth the same obsession has both of them in a stranglehold, the one of death at work, of the terrible and painful precariousness of all human projects. Death of fiction in the real domain at the time where the people who inhabit the novel of our lives finish inexorably by leaving us. And the death of reality in fiction, when the artifice of filming and the absurdity of the demands of production prevent from reaching the truth.
Go and see Mia Madre before it disappears from our screens.