Maria Pecchioli, Ingrid Lamminpaa and Lorenza Soldani • Creators of Lei disse sì
by Vittoria Scarpa
- In its world premiere at the Biografilm, an exciting documentary on the marriage of two women. Interview with the director and stars of Maria Pecchioli's Lei disse sì
Can a revolution happen one bouquet at a time? For Maria Pecchioli, Ingrid Lamminpää and Lorenza Soldani it seems so. The director and stars of Lei disse sì, presented the film in its global premiere at the 10th Biografilm Festival by Bologna (6-16 June 2014) – their own revolution started by holding a wedding bouquet. Ingrid and Lorenza have gotten married after seven years together. But in order to do this, they had to leave Florence and go to Sweden, Ingrid’ second home -- because same-sex marriage is not yet legal in Italy. Lei disse sì, directed by their lifelong friend Maria Pecchioli, documents their journey, starting with their wedding announcement and ending with their final “yes”. A rejuvenating and moving journey, which is also highly entertaining. The story of two women, but also of a family, a community, and an act of courage and freedom touching everybody. A journey seeking to conquer a right - that of gay couples in Italy – which still has quite far to go, and it all started with a blog…
Cineuropa: Lei disse sì is much more than a documentary. How was the project born?
Maria Pecchioli: As our motto says, “the bouquet revolution has just started.” The film’s journey started a year and a half ago when Ingrid and Lorenza announced they were getting married to their friends and family. They launched a videoblog (leidissesi.net), which was seeking to tell the story of this wedding’s steps with irony, lightness and fantasy. Because of the great following we got, we thought we would crowdfund for a documentary. We then launched a Facebook page, which today has 5,000 followers. Participation was huge, we collected €10,000 in three months and then got going.
Lorenza Soldani: People’s participation was fundamental to make everything, but that was also part of what we wanted to tell: two people who need the support of an entire community to live in a serene and happy way.
Ingrid Lamminpää: Swedes are not so much astonished my family did not accept me (after coming out, Ingrid lost every form of contact with her parents and brother), they are astonished the state in which I live does not accept my marriage to the person I love. There are millions of dysfunctional families, the state should protect you however.
Was it difficult showing your intimate moments in front of the camera?
Ingrid: We were able to do it because Maria is a dear friend who has known us since middle school. The main thing was showing our faces, the message was strong and positive. Beyond words, we did it: we got married, and this is something many people can relate to.
Maria: We wanted to tell the simplicity and daily life of this love in a direct way. This was the most important political point. No screaming demands, just the evidence of feelings.
The film is also very entertaining and everyone – from the brides to the relatives and the friends – all seem at ease. How did you manage to create this atmosphere?
Maria: While we were working on the videoblog, we slightly intruded into our friends’ lives. But the joint knowledge that we were doing something urgent for all created a degree of serenity and trust. We respected those friends who saw this as an invasion. If anyone was uncomfortable, the camera would disappear.
Lorenza: In Sweden, the camera was more present, but there was also a two-metre high speaker. In the beginning, some were frightened, but then everything went along smoothly. The winning card was creating a friendly and familiar environment, which was non-invasive.
Will this film be able to help change something in Italy, when it comes to gay marriage do you think?
Lorenza: From a legislative perspective, Italy is not going anywhere. Things are changing locally, where some mayors are deciding to register same-sex marriages done abroad. Challenging internalised homophobia is the first step towards challenging the institutionalised one. This is how we are trying to contribute.
Ingrid: There is hope that things will change and that shortly we will be able to watch the film and say: “look what it was like… Look the lengths we had to go to in order to get married!”
(Translated from Italian)