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Tribeca Film Festival 2018 Interview: Laura Bispuri (Director/Writer) - Daughter Of Mine


photo by Mustafa Önder
 

Director Laura Bispuri returns to the Tribeca Film Festival, after her debut feature film "Sworn Virgin"- three years ago which she received the Nora Award for best female director. The author of "Daughter of Mine" travels to a corner of the island of Sardinia, where fishing and livestock take precedence over tourism, to place in the center of her story a trio of women: the little girl Vittoria and two mothers, Tina and Angelica. The film stands out for the stellar performance of Valeria Golino, Alba Rohrwacher and the young Sara Casu, whose heart has been divided in the film between the mother who raised her (but is overprotective) and the biological One.  

The drama Daughter Of Mine explores the motherhood flaws and inseparable ties, love and forgiveness.

We caught up with writer/director Laura Bispuri to talk about the importance of women stories, the complexity of the characters told in a non traditional way, choosing the landscape of Sardinia and more.  

Daughter Of Mine screens as part of the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival in its Spotlight Narrative Section April 18 – 29 at various venues around New York City. Find more information here

The film is about three women, Tina that is raising Vittoria and another very peculiar character Angelica. Were you trying to make a political statement by having a non traditional womanhood theme?


I have to say I have been working on feminine stories for years, during all my career, from the first short films that I made, my first feature, to this one. It is not a theme that I am exploiting today because of this moment that is happening. It's one that I have been pursuing sincerely for my whole career. But yes, I am making a political statement in order to show the feminine without fear and in a non-conventional way, where only the women are in the foreground. It is a sincere position that I defend and it is particularly important to do so today.


photo by Mustafa Önder


The character of Angelica has an addiction with alcohol and throughout the film she's called various names. Do you think if the gender roles were reversed, if it was a man with these characteristics, the person would have been seen differently in society?

Angelica is an extreme character. We've seen many films where you have men that are addicted to alcohol, that practice extreme form of exaggerated attachment to sexuality. Angelica was looking for the love of her life, so she throws herself at men hoping to fill this kind of void she feels inside. Only later she realizes that through the bond with this young girl, she will find a true win, a very pure love. She also realizes that she is capable of loving, being loved and of teaching this girl, who loves her back. She's on a journey seeking her identity, a journey of discovery, of motherhood. As I mentioned before, we are looking for the discussion of representation, of the motherhood energy without fear, reversing the traditional rules given to men and women. We see in so many films the man in the foreground and a woman in the background that is always very tender and caring. Here we have reversed the roles, Umberto character is the one who is very caring and loving in the background. This is something that I purposely explored, to reverse the traditional roles.


photo by Mustafa Önder


The film was shot in beautiful Sardinia. Why did you choose this specific landscape to tell the story?


I think in both films I looked into worlds that are very archaic and contemporary. In Sworn Virgin we see a sharp division between these two worlds. in Sardinia we also find the same division but they are much more mixed together and I think the story itself mixes the archaic with a more contemporary motion of motherhood. The landscape of Sardinia is very powerful, very overbearing in a way, and at the same time it is a melancholic landscape. The people on the Island have a very strong sense of identity but, as an island, they constantly have to ask themselves the question about what is coming from the outside world, the constant search for identity which is reflected perhaps most of all in the character of Vittoria, who is asking herself who is my mother and where did I come from.


photo by Mustafa Önder
 

This is your second feature film as a director, do you have any advice for aspiring female filmmakers?

It might sound conventional, but I would say to pursue their dreams  and never allow this belief that womanhood should stop you. Specially today, these stories are more necessary than ever. So believe in the importance of what you're saying and pursue the realization of your dreams.

— Interview conducted and transcribed (with Italian-English Translator) by Lia Fietz

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About Tribeca Film Festival


Online Dailies Coverage of the Tribeca Film Festival, April 17-28, 2013

 

The Tribeca Film Festival brings together local, national, and international talent to provide the New York City, downtown community with five days of screenings, educational workshops, and various special events.
Live coverage with dailies from Lia Fietz, Suzanne Lynch, Claus Mueller, Maria Esteves 

 


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