In my name, the review: transition, friendship and self-discovery

The review of Nel mio nome, a documentary by Nicolò Bassetti that tells the transition through the experiences of four young people, at the cinema from 13 to 15 June with I Wonder Pictures.

In my name: a scene from the movie

The full realization of the individual passes through self-knowledge. And it is a long journey of knowledge that the director Nicolò Bassetti accompanies us on, as revealed by the review of In my name, a documentary that follows the path of four friends, Nico, Leo, Andrea and Raffi, in the passage that leads them to abandon their female identity to move to the male one. Bassetti, personally involved in the theme since his son has also followed the same path, does not limit himself to concentrating on the central theme, the change of sex, with all the consequences that it entails, but uses the hobbies and obsessions of the four friends as a key to approach their intimacy and the complexity that characterizes them.

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In my name: the four protagonists

Obsessions also strike at an iconographic level: from the radio podcast recorded by Leo in his own room to a bicycle workshop, the kingdom of Raffi, from a typewriter dragged up and down the arcades of Bologna by the aspiring writer Andrea to vineyards and country paths, the habitat of Nico, the most adventurous of the four friends. Choosing the path of invisibility, the director follows the four boys step by step in their daily lives, telling of their intimacy, romantic relationships, passions, modesty and fears of the path they have chosen to tackle in a revolutionary gesture of self-determination.

An intimate and unanimous story

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In my name: a scene from the movie

With great delicacy, Nicolò Bassetti approaches four very different personalities describing them within their habitat. Given the hot topic, the director does not hesitate to address problematic issues such as the legal and psychophysical consequences of the change of sex that those who undertake the path are required to face. Even one of the four boys, Nico, has a wife who was married years before making the transition. We follow the path of the couple, the mutual support, the upheavals of their ménage together with the physical changes that Nico, Raffi, Leo and Andrea go through undergoing hormonal treatments. Bassetti does not censor any aspect, but avoids fueling the morbid curiosity about the intimacy of his protagonists by limiting himself to suggesting or evoking those aspects of their path that could tickle voyeurism.

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Explorer of places and souls

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In my name: a scene from the movie

Using an intimate, yet straightforward and direct approach, Nicolò Bassetti accompanies his characters step by step, narrating their daily life. The director works by subtraction by eliminating trappings and preconceived schemes to arrive at the truth of the characters who are told in a choral narrative, supported by a calm but well thought-out montage. The naturalness of the story corresponds to a remarkable formal attention on the visual level. Bassetti, landscape architect and inspirer of Francesco Rosi’s Sacro Gra, does not hide his strong interest in urban and rural landscapes by placing his four protagonists within the territory in which they live, work and walk.

The result is carefully studied iconographic images that remain etched in the viewer’s gaze. Images that, combined with the delicacy of the tones with which the theme of transition is treated, even captured the attention of Elliot Page who, after viewing, proposed himself as executive producer of the project.

Conclusions

As the review of In my name reveals, Nicolò Bassetti creates an intimate and well-kept documentary, a choral story that retraces the journey of four friends engaged in the transition from female to male. With modesty and delicacy, Bassetti faces the consequences of their choice by telling their universe in a direct and accurate work that explores human and physical landscapes, between passions, obsessions and self-determination.

Because we like it

  • An intimate story that finds the right approach to tackle a delicate issue such as transition.
  • The director’s choice to let his characters tell themselves is very apt.
  • the choice of creating four landscapes to be associated with the four protagonists is interesting.

What’s wrong

  • The choice of starting the story in medias res by intersecting the four stories makes it a bit complex to follow the stories of the characters at first glance.

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