Greetings again from the darkness. Many of us while away the time pondering the meaning of life. We have that luxury, as most of us have already traveled the road of self-discovery
a road that is a bit more twisty and windy for others. The opening dialogue of first time director Carlo Lavagna's movie takes away any possibility of a trendy or Hollywood twist. The titular character discloses that she has been born three times: once as a boy, once as a girl, and finally as understanding who she is.
As kids, we are so dependent on and trusting of our parents. Of course this is out of necessity and naivety, and as we mature, we learn our parents are merely human beings – hopefully acting in our best interest. We first meet Arianna (Ondina Quadri) as a 19 year old girl returning to the old family vacation home with her parents for the first time since she was 3 years old. Arianna is on hormone therapy due to her body being slow to develop (small breasts, no menstrual cycle). She has been under the care of a gynecologist arranged by her doctor-father, and has grown increasingly frustrated at her lack of progress into womanhood.
Arianna wonders why her mother acts so odd, and is taken aback when a neighbor asks where her brother is. All of this occurs with a picturesque Italian backdrop of greenery, rain and swimming holes. As she slowly unravels the near-lifelong mystery, we as viewers experience a constant feeling of dread for her though her story is handled with dignity and empathy throughout. Arianna tries so hard to be "normal", and even partially excuses her parents for acting in what they thought was her best interest.
First time actor Ondina Quadri is terrific in the lead role. She looks a bit like a young Joaquin Phoenix in Parenthood, and is totally believable as someone trying to understand who they are, and then come to grips with being placed half way between the two socially accepted genders. It's a peek into the biological condition known as intersex, as well as the correlating theory of gender-assignment. Mostly it's a touching story of a 19 year old that allows us to feel her frustration, and it's presented in a beautifully paced manner by a talented new filmmaker.
Dallas International Film Festival 2016
Action / Drama
Action / Drama
Arianna is nineteen years old and still has not had her first menstrual cycle. Despite the fact that her breasts have become slightly enlarged, which causes her some discomfort, the hormones her gynecologist prescribed for her do not seem to be helping with her maturation. One summer her parents decide to take her back to the lake house in Bolsena where they all used to go on vacation. Arianna has not been back there since she was three years old. While staying in the house, old memories start to come back to Arianna and like pieces of a puzzle, start to slowly fall into place. When her parents tell her it is time to return to the city for a few days, Arianna wants to stay behind to study for her exams. Her father accepts, but for some reason the idea makes her mother extremely uncomfortable; actually her mother has been acting strangely ever since they arrived at the lake house. On her own, as the first afternoons go by slowly and silently, Arianna's investigation of her past also includes the exploration of her body. The encounter with her young cousin Celeste, whose feminine figure is distinctly different than Arianna's, as well as the fact that, unlike her, Celeste has already lost her virginity, pushes Arianna to confront the true nature of her sexuality. —mt-98250
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
May 17, 2021 at 09:07 PM