Director: Laura Samani
Cast: Celeste Cescutti, Ondina Quadri
89 minutes – Italian/ Italian dialect with English sub-titles – 2021
Italy, 1900. Young Agata’s baby is stillborn and so condemned to Limbo. Agata hears about a place in the mountains, where infants can be brought back to life for just one breath, time enough to baptize them and save their soul. She undertakes a voyage with her daughter’s small body hidden in a box and meets Lynx, a solitary boy who offers to help her. They set off on an adventure which will enable both to come close to a miracle.
This extraordinary women-driven film is imbued with a fairy tale quality, with its sparse and always meaningful dialogue allowing the images to convey the drama, the moods and majesty of the journey. Small Body had its premiere in the La Semaine de la Critique programme in Cannes, and amongst numerous awards already achieved by the film Laura Samani was named Italy’s Best New Director at the 2022 David di Donatello Awards.
With Small Body, Samani has created a work of great maturity and power. It is a film about personal grief which gradually, step by step, takes on a mythic resonance. This is a new and vibrant talent to be watched.
John Bleasdale, CineVue
The film’s haunting visual pull, sparse soundtracks and vulnerable commitment to the truth make it essential viewing.
Jasmine Valentine, Flickering Myth
A gorgeous mythological sensibility infuses this riveting dramatic adventure.
Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
A minor masterpiece of modern filmmaking.
Rob Aldam, Backseat Mafia
This movie is a visceral, riveting, and heartbreaking experience that won’t be leaving me anytime soon.
Rosa Parra, Latinx Lens