When her elderly mother dies – apparently happy but in curious circumstances – her daughter travels home to Naples for the funeral. Staying on, she tries to piece together her mother’s recent life. In doing so she starts to confront childhood memories that shaped the family history.
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35mm. Probably this will be my only contact with Elena Ferrante's writing, since i'm allergic to best sellers and hype. And by this film i can say that its dramaturgical and psychologist overdose writing is very unpleasant to me, although it's not her script. On the contrary, Martone ability to shoot the circus in/of the cumulative streets of Naples is absolutely admirable and this is what gives value to the film.
Intriguing to watch again 20 years on now that Elena Ferrante (the screenwriter) is a lauded novelist and our familiarity with the mores and claustrophobia of Neopolitan family life that she chronicles is much greater. The film, like her novels, repays attention dealing as it does with repressed memory and indeed conflicting narratives of events. The marvellous tarantella that closes the film seems entirely fitting.