She was struck by the vision of Simple Men by Hal Hartley in adolescence, and by her interpreter Elina Löwensohn, as a child Federica had suffered from epileptic seizures, just like the protagonist of that film. Thirty years later Federica, a young director, meets Elina, an underground myth that is in slight decline, in Rome for yet another audition. Federica proposes that she shoot a film about her life, from childhood in Ceausescu’s Romania to American cult movies, and it’s like the promise of a renaissance.
Chiara Malta (Rome, Italy, 1977) has been living in Paris since
2002. Her documentary Armando e la politica (2008) premiered as the
opening night film at Turin Film Festival, and was aired on ZDF and
Arte. She has written and directed many shorts, mixing fiction,
animation and documentary. With her short Les yeux du renard (2012), she
has started a reflection on childhood, tinted with magical realism.
Simple Women, which she developed as a Villa Medici resident artist in
Rome, is her first feature film.
L’isle (cm, 2006), Armando e la politica (doc., 2008), J’attendes une femme (cm, 2010), L’amour à trois (cm, 2010), Les yeux du renard (cm, 2012), L’existence selon Gabriel (cm, 2015), Histoire de Stefano (cm, 2017), Simple Women (2019).
“For years I thought that Elina Löwensohn was an American actress. I had seen her in Hal Hartley’s films. I can’t say I was a fan of hers. I just knew who she was: Elina Löwensohn, an American actress. Then, one day, someone introduced us. She immediately told me she was Romanian. The echo of something she said stuck in my head, like a hammering, obstinate refrain: ‘I’m not an American actress, I’m not who you think I am.’ I built this film around a central question: what’s behind an image? Images often deceive. We have to be alert.”
Italia-Romania/Italy-Romania, 2019, 85’, col.
Chiara Malta, Sébastien Laudenbach, Marco Pettenello
Tudor Vladimir Panduru
Ioachim Stroe, Giogiò Franchini
interpreti e personaggi/cast and characters
Jasmine Trinca (Federica), Elina Löwensohn (Elina), Francesco Acquaroli, Anna Malvica, Mirella Mazzeranghi, Betti Pedrazzi, Thomas Bradley, Michael Rodgers, Cosmina Olariu, Ozana Oancea, Roberta Zanardo, Paolo Graziosi
Marta Donzelli, Gregorio Paonessa
Vivo Film, Rai Cinema