The Panorama of Alina Marazzi By Mariano Morace

in 25th Torino Film Festival

by Mariano Morace

Presented in the small Italian Panorama section of the 25th edition of the Torino Film Festival, Vogliamo anche le rose is the latest production of Milanese director Alina Marazzi, author of several cinema and television documentaries, including her 2002 For One More Hour with You (Un’ ora sola ti vorrei), and the 2005 Forever (Per sempre) which are all stories dedicated to female identity.

However, beyond such themes, the delicate gaze and harmony of images denoting the author’s strong personality and skills can be perceived and it is difficult to see these three works as an authentic trilogy, but rather I prefer to think of it as an evolution of Alina Marazzi’s reflections on the history of women. She herself declares in the TFF catalogue: “With Vogliamo anche le rose, I wanted to chart the history of women from the mid-60s until the late 1970s, to relate it to our own contentious and contradictory times, and to provoke thinking about such issues which are still very much with us, since so much has been completely and rudely called into question.”

In For One More Hour with You, perhaps her most successful production, Alina Marazzi reconstructs her mother’s life, who passed away when she was a young girl, through a series of moving stories: the film shots realized by her father and grandfather, recordings — amongst which the beautiful song bearing the same title — and numerous letters written to her children. On the other hand, with the film Forever the film director tries to gain insight into the reasons — which are often rather different — that have lead women to make a definite life choice of living in monastic communities.

Vogliamo anche le rose: of course, even roses, because a woman loves roses and what better way to represent the history of female condition through such a gesture of esteem, affection and respect? The idea behind the film is portrayed through the three emblematic stories told in Anita’s, Teresa’s and Valentina’s diaries which were found in the National Diary Archive of St Stephen’s parish. Anita’s diary talks about the difficult emancipation from her family and the oppressive father figure of a 1960s Milanese teenager; Teresa’s diary describes the psychological and physical burdens of an Apulian girl faced due to a clandestine abortion; finally, Valentina’s diary leads us to experience a Roman feminist divided between love and militancy. It’s true that they are personal stories but the director leads us to a journey through women’s struggles, “wherever they are or have been”.

With these stories, Alina Marazzi creates an analysis of recent history seen from a female point of view including irony, affection, rigor and lightness.

The material used accompanying the outfalls of these stories is totally heterogeneous: photographs, photo stories, short family movies, independent inquiries and debates, independent, militant or experimental films, advertisements, music and animation. And it is just this heterogeneity which grants such lightness to the film, a lightness that absolutely doesn’t detract from the strength of the analysis.

The film which has already been presented in the latest Locarno film Festival fully confirms Alina Marazzi’s skill, which must be considered as one of the most interesting figures of Italian documentaries.