Figlia mia (Daughter of Mine)
Daughter of Mine tells the story of when 10-year-old Vittoria (Sara Casu) meets a wild woman, Angelica (Alba Rohrwacher), randomly at a rodeo, who lives on her own in a defunct farmhouse. Vittoria’s mother, Tina (Valeria Golino), warns her not to become too involved with Angelica but the girl cannot resist the temptation. She begins to piece together that Angelica is actually her biological mother; this discovery sends the two women into a frenzied tug of war that pushes the trio to the edge of madness.
Both mother figures are strong, polarised personalities: Tina is a devout catholic and dedicated, overbearing parent and Angelica a tempestuous but aimless bar fly, who can hardly take care of herself let alone a child. Together, the three actresses are a divine trinity; the chemistry between them is absolutely magnetic. We witness Vittoria break free from her controlled and calculated home to experience the wild and unpredictable lifestyle of Angelica. Vittoria is a quiet girl who lacks the social skills to interact at school and elsewhere due to her over-protective upbringing.
The two women act as a black-and-white contrast, two radically different paths for the ten-year-old to walk down. Tina sees Angelica as charity and wants to shield her daughter from a lifestyle of debt-collectors and trading sexual favours for drinks at the bar, but Vittoria sees a resilient independence in Angelica.
However, the young girl quickly learns of the perils of her birth mother’s lifestyle and breaks off on her own path to discover her sense of self in the breathtaking climax of the film. The transformative performances of the actresses are bolstered by magnificent pacing and camerawork. Most scenes pivot around one hand-held shot that connects the characters through urgent choreography.
The location of rural Sardinia plays an integral part in how the characters pursue self-definition. Director Laura Bispuri claims the island was in mind right from the beginning because of its strong identity but also its desire to develop and change that identity. The beautiful but untamed setting acts as an emotional backdrop for this visceral journey to womanhood and motherhood.
Daughter of Mine delicately delivers a complex, multi-layered coming-of-age story from three overlapping points of view.
Figlia mia (Daughter of Mine) does not have a UK release date yet.
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Watch the trailer for Figlia mia (Daughter of Mine) here: