Laura Bispuri’s Sardinia-set melodrama sees the Italian director build on the promise of her strong 2015 debut Vergine Giurata (Sworn Virgin) with an engaging exploration of parent-child relations. It benefits from strong central turns, with Valeria Golino and Alba Rohrwacher serving as starkly contrasting maternal figures to a young girl who finds herself at the heart of a love triangle, having learned that her protective mother is not her biological parent. Francesca Manieri’s screenplay deals in overtly blunt contrasts, pitting a doting, churchgoing mother against a heavy-drinking, self-destructive one. This isn’t helped by Bispuri occasionally overplaying her hand when it comes to on-the-nose colour symbolism and an overripe allegory about rebirth. Fortunately, the somewhat simplistic saint/sinner dichotomy is redeemed through the performances and Vladan Radovic’s lensing, which gives the barren and arid setting of sunny Sardinia a dreamlike and mystical feel.
Figlia Mia (Daughter of Mine) | Directed by Laura Bispuri (Italy, Germany, Switzerland 2018) with Valeria Golino and Alba Rohrwacher. Starts May 31
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