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Anna, a woman escaping from limbo

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Giuseppe M Gaudino • Director


- VENICE 2015: Per amor vostro by Giuseppe M Gaudino, starring Valeria Golino, has screened in competition at Venice

Giuseppe M Gaudino  • Director

Giuseppe M Gaudino has made his return to fiction films with Per amor vostro [+see also:
film review
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interview: Giuseppe M Gaudino
film profile
– in competition at the Venice Film Festival – after years of working in the field of documentaries. The movie might not have been made, if it hadn’t been for a small group of independent producers who decided to give it their support. "There is something miraculous about this project," says the director. Per amor vostro tells the story of Anna (Valeria Golino), a woman from Naples who is a slave to family obligations. She loves her three children but discovers that her husband is a usurer. 

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Cineuropa: Anna is a woman who shows her love by putting others first. The only things that support her are her memories.
Giuseppe M. Gaudino: For years they’ve made us sing “Let it Be”, but letting things be, lettings things happen, is harmful. I wanted to depict the emotions of a woman who lives in a state of limbo, similar to the way in which many people from a variety of social backgrounds live. I would like the audience to witness the experience of a woman who has been living for too long without taking a stand, hesitating about how and when to intervene. Anna wakes up when she sees that even her children are abandoning her, and she finds the courage to take action and break away.

Could Anna’s act of rebellion be that of an entire society?
It should be. I have nothing against traders, but with the greatest respect I would say that there are too many pawnbrokers, and not just in Naples. If the banks are not giving out loans, how is it possible for the government to allow shops that buy and sell gold to open up everywhere? Something is not working, and leaving things be is not ok – the time will come when they will hold us to account.

How did you work with the actors to build up the characters? 
We didn’t rely on a hard-and-fast script. My aim was to make them less stable; precisely because we were filming non-stop, it was important that they were not immediately sure of what they were doing. We did a number of read-throughs, we tried to figure out which lines ought to be in the Neapolitan dialect and how to use sign language [one of the main character's children is deaf-mute – ed]. A language that wasn’t an end in itself, but rather a way of saying that Anna understood other people, but was lost for words herself.

What are your cinematic references? 
Juliet of the Spirits-era Fellini. A mishmash of styles to portray not an actual fact, but an intangible emotion.

(Translated from Italian)

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