Five films by the Italian director Francesca Archibugi present a fresh and incisive perspective on such classic themes as familial and generational relationships and the sins of fathers visited on their children. Archibugi’s canny eye for the telling detail and the minutiae of daily life imbues her work with symbolism and cinematic flair. Several of her films deal with Italian manifestations of patriarchal society: in With Closed Eyes (1994), the historical setting at the turn of the previous century and its specific problems for women living outside the protected confines of the family; in The Great Pumpkin (1992), the personal and societal difficulties of changing a hopelessly outdated mode of psychiatric treatment. All her other works deal with contemporary problems of the family in a changing society. Her sensitive direction of actors elicits some especially strong performances from children and adolescents as well as from her female protagonists. She has succeeded in creating a distinctive body of work that has brought bright original Italian filmmaking back to the international screen.
Organized by Mary Lea Bandy, Chief Curator, and Jytte Jensen, Curator, Department of Film and Media. Presented in collaboration with N.I.C.E., an organization dedicated to the promotion of Italian cinema worldwide, and the Italian Cultural Institute, New York.