Venezia79: “The immensity”, Crialese tells the desire to be authentic

The immensitythe Italian film presented today in competition in Venice, is a very personal work with strongly autobiographical aspects in which the director Emanuele Crialese tells the point of view of a girl who feels male even if born in the body of a female.

We are in the high-bourgeois Rome of the 70s, in an apparently happy and privileged traditional family. In reality the pater familias (Vincenzo Amato), severe and irascible, spends his life working or cheating on his wife (Penelope Cruz). The couple has three children of which the oldest, twelve-year-old Adriana (Luana Giuliani), introduces herself to anyone who does not know her as Andrea.

Emanuele Crialese (born Emanuela) transfigure his own childhood by fictionalizing some elements, so that the work does not become self-referential and instead rises to the universal.

“The immensity” does not tell of a gender transition, nor of a coming out. If anything, it shows the glimpse of a childhood Not easy to live, that of a preteen who feels wrong and unadjustable. One who completely refuses her body, even going so far as to bathe in her tub dressed in her, despite being alone. Convinced of coming from another galaxy, she keeps an eye on the sky waiting for a sign and, to ingratiate herself with a supernatural intervention, convinced as she is that she serves her a miracleit even goes so far as to indigestion of consecrated hosts.

Between tests of courage that cement the relationship with the siblings and a platonic first love for a peer to live beyond a reeds which seems to be a portal to the dream, Adriana has the fixed point in her mother. The two have a special complicity, united as they are by the need to hide their interiority: the parent is forced to repress her own very lively leisure, the girl the masculine to whom she feels she belongs. Together they manage to be truly free only during improvised choreography to music by La Carrà or watching her perform on TV. They know the cathartic and life-giving value of play and music. It will be in the spaces dedicated to these forms of escape that they will be able to be authentic and even more united. Their strong connection causes the captive pain of one to be silently mirrored in that of the other.

The character in which Cruz gets the chance to once again capitalize acting is one very complex womanwhich is many variations of the feminine in one and which has priority in the protection of its children.

The film plays a lot on the eyes of the two main protagonists. The looks they are framed at an incredibly close distance because they are the views from which it is possible to see the immensity of the title: that of the soul. Crialese, in fact, does not seem interested so much in the feminine or masculine but in the perception that a person has of his own more intimate nature. The essence of a human being transcends gender, the only thing he needs to flourish is freedom.

“Immensity” is not a cinematically disruptive or memorable work. But it makes you feel grateful for its existence. There are precious and generous forms of sharing that inspire respect. The one given to the rooms by Crialese is the seraphic fruit of a lifelong maturation.

We are all given birth and we are all called to give birth ourselves. Only a lucky few come to truly resemble their idea of ​​themselves. This film tells the dawn of a dream that must have been painful to dream and, even more so, to make it a reality.

Venezia79: “The immensity”, Crialese tells the desire to be authentic