Crítica: Chutzpah - Qualcosa sul pudore
por Vittoria Scarpa
- Monica Stambrini gestiona una crisis personal poniendo su vida en el centro de un documental, reflexionando sobre sí misma y sobre los límites de lo privado
Este artículo está disponible en inglés.
A camera, alcohol and psychotherapy. It’s from this starting point - the things which she herself says she knows best - that Monica Stambrini sets out in order to find herself and understand who she is “without a partner, children or a job to define me”. The 53-year-old director, who’s the author of various short films, documentaries and a fiction film called Gas, which did the rounds at various international festivals, has placed herself at the heart of her new work Chutzpah – Something on Modesty, which was presented in a world premiere within the Biografilm Italia competition of the 19th Biografilm Festival in Bologna, and is perfectly in line with the festival’s overall theme for this year: identity (read our news). “Chutzpah” means “shamelessness”, in Hebrew. And in filming herself and her nearest and dearest in order to overcome a personal crisis following the disintegration of her family, the director ends up exploring the confines of privacy, which - given the filming resources now accessible to all - is becoming increasingly public and reproducible.
As Tthe founder of Le ragazze del porno – a collective project revolving around erotic films made by Italian women directors – Stambrini has no qualms over laying herself bare, literally or otherwise. “Mum, stop filming!” her young children implore while they’re playing on the beach with a camera pointed on them. But their mother shoots everything: her parents, grandparents, lovers, even her therapy sessions (unauthorised) and her mammography. By way of this footage, the director manages to “see herself”, even if it does clash with others’ right to privacy. She’s been leading a double life ever since she separated from her husband: one week (when her children are with her) she’s an efficient mum, the following week (when the kids are with their dad and she’s alone) she’s like a lawless teenager, with plenty of alcohol at her disposal. “Who am I?”. We’re not given a definitive answer to this question in the end. But the director does manage, in some respects, to hold up a mirror to the viewer, because, with themes like family, parental separation, abandonment, identity, motherhood and sexuality, there’s food for thought for everyone.
How we’re defined is inevitably shaped by those who gave us life, so most of the time the director focuses on her own parents, who – by way of lots of found footage made by the filmmaker over her lifetime and pulled out of drawers - turn out to be to the most interesting characters in the story, she a “kept” middle-class woman, he the son of labourers with a penchant for free love. It was a relationship which couldn’t last (they separated when Stambrini was barely four years old), but their respective influence on their daughter’s personality is indisputable. The director interviews them one at a time, as well as filming them together: they laugh, they cry and they wonder whether things could have turned out differently. Ultimately, a multitude of themes are touched upon in the film, perhaps too many for its barely 70-minute running time, but Paola Freddi’s editing (Monica [+lee también:
entrevista: Andrea Pallaoro
ficha de la película], Pure Hearts [+lee también:
entrevista: Roberto De Paolis
ficha de la película], The Wait [+lee también:
entrevista: Piero Messina
ficha de la película], among his many collaborations) and Diana Tejers music, combined with a mise en scene packed full of good ideas and suggestions, come together to create an offering which makes us think that grabbing a camera and recounting your own life as a form of therapy at a time of crisis is something we should all try our hand at.
(Traducción del italiano)
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