The review of The girl flew, a film with which Wilma Labate returns to fiction after fifteen years as Signorina Effe. A story of tears, violence and lost adolescence written by the D’Innocenzo brothers.
A work full of courage and disenchantment, in the center a female figure screaming loneliness and anger on the one hand, resignation and innocence on the other. Fifteen years after Miss Effe, Wilma Labate returns to directing a movie fictional, this time based on a script written together with the brothers Damiano and Fabio D’Innocenzo (here you can read the review of The girl flew). In cinemas from 23 June with Adler Entertainment after the passage in the Horizons section at the last Venice International Film Festival, it finds a natural place within the director’s artistic career, which confirms in the aesthetic rigor, in the dryness of the story and in the silent gaze a rare uniqueness. An hour and a half of restlessness and unexpected outbursts of rebellion, which will involve the viewer from start to finish; impossible to take your eyes and mind off this snapshot suspended above the lives of the characters who live there.
A story of abuse and silence
Wilma Labate frames the story of The girl flew between two sequence floors: the initial one that glides from the windows with the lights on of a suburban building along the wall crowded with young people looking for entertainment and ends up between the walls of an anonymous bar; and the final one, which detaches on the seventh floor of the building where the protagonist lives. So you enter and exit the film, with a permanent lump in your throat while the camera forces your gaze to follow the characters who are agitated and approaches them with poignant close-ups. Especially on the face of Nadia, an “uncomfortable” teenager of almost seventeen, her eyes marked by an apparent impossibility of redemption, a black cherry-colored birthmark just below her right eyebrow and the gaze of someone who has not yet understood who she is. and she.
An attractive girl that the director follows as she moves through the streets of Trieste in search of a place in the world; Nadia attends the hotel institute, is shy and introverted, has no friends, and the days pass by without particular stimuli, in the greyness of a border town, a crossroads of cultures, a place where the livid skyline of the working class districts mixes with the orderly and composed life in the center where young people flock to the clubs and clean streets. On one of the long after-school afternoons Nadia meets Brando in a bar: he looks like a nice boy, he offers her a popsicle, they start chatting, they take a long walk together, then he invites her to his uncle’s house, she accepts. Once in the apartment Brando he wants to have sex with her, Nadia doesn’t want to, but he threatens and rapes her. No one, not even her family will ever know what happened, not even when she finds out she is pregnant and she decides to continue the pregnancy. From that moment on she will be alone, stubbornly resigned and devastated by the weight of the world outside her, but she will be determined to keep the baby even if in a climate of widespread inertia.
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Wilma Labate’s restless cinema
The signature of the the D’Innocenzo brothers there is and can be seen in the atmospheres and tones of a story of marginality, of lost adolescents and immobile adults, but Labate also leads her to explore other territories with stylistic choices often in sharp contrast to those to which the directors have accustomed us of Favolacce. The combination turns out to be perfect. For the director it is an opportunity to return to her own busy cinema, restless, lonely and tense and often ruthless: everything remains in the field even the rape, which will be consumed under the eyes of the spectator, pinning him to the close-ups of the protagonist. A harrowing sequence lasting a few minutes, endless in the perception of the beholder; rigor and composure are such as to ward off any form of voyeurism or complacency. It is a story of loneliness and helpless characters, as is Nadia’s family, which has made immobility and incommunicability its universe.
The only rebellious and counter-current act is that of the protagonist, who will not hesitate to wrap herself in a cheap uniform and swallow a job she hates in order to support her child. The girl flew is above all a film of silences, habitual bodies and gestures, of negations and acts in their own way subversive, in which the measured and subtractive interpretation of Alma Noce plays a fundamental role: unique in restoring that shyness and roughness that make Nadia a character of rare grace.
The review of The girl flew ends on the interpretation of Alma Noce, the young actress who carries the whole story on her shoulders by working in subtraction. Her sulky gaze, the rough and shy attitude of a teenager lost under the sky of Trieste, her face almost always in the foreground make up half of the film. Undisputed accomplices were Wilma Labate’s always right, coherent and never over the top directorial choices and a solid screenplay written together with the D’Innocenzo brothers.
Because we like it
- The aesthetic rigor and the dryness of the narration.
- Wilma Labate recounts the ferocity of abuse with a look of rare uniqueness: without voyeurism or complacency.
- An hour and a half of restlessness and unexpected outbursts of rebellion, which will involve the viewer from start to finish.
- Alma Noce’s subtraction interpretation: the film is her, her sulky gaze and her resignation.
- The slow pace could tire an audience not very inclined to this type of storytelling.