Virginia Eleuteri Serpieri:Amor

A woman’s face with running water in nature behind her. She looks at you or she does not look. Beautiful face, eyes seldom blinking. A river with waterfall and its sound. Focus on a rock and its cracks. A city emerges and disappears again. Cut to hands holding a postcard with…

… a voice that tells us that in 1998 “my mother” left our house and “we” never saw her again. Since then the daughter speaking, Virginia, the director of the film, has collected photos from the family album, prints of Roma, archive material, postcards with monuments, architectural and historical from the city; That if you read it from the back, Amor says Roma – always characterized as the city of Love. What comes to your mind, when you meet the word Roma, the voice the director asks and shows people in slow motion crossing a street.

Images show a diver getting ready to go down, we understand that the mother drowned in the Tiber. Virginia: I felt like a tree without roots. Two younger women are underwater – there are fragments of photos and other “things” on the bottom of the river, that evoke memories and there are super8mm footage that show Teresa in situations with friends and family in the countryside. This is a long poetic sequence with color – 8mm footage of people looking up to the sky, ending underwater again, and with the viewer being given the information that mother was born in 1943.

The film HAS found a complicated multi layered way of storytelling, which created a bit of confusion in my head at the beginning but once you get the point – I think I got – you are seduced by the flow (sorry!), of love to the photos of places and architecture that I remember, when I visited Amor… and take the tour on the back seat of the car that the director, Virginia, drives looking for the place in the river where Teresa, her mother, left. Very strong and intense, especially when it becomes a dialogue between daughter and mother, accompanied by the many photos of the mother, born 1943, dead 1998.

The text that helps the flow is excellent, and even more so is the music, composed by Lithuanian Martynas Bialobżeskis, magnificent!

I understand that this is a debut film… Bravo!

Italy & Lithuania, 2023, 101 mins.

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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