Marghe and Her Mother

Secret Screenings

Italy, United Kingdom  ·  2019  ·  DCP 4K  ·  Color  ·  100'  ·  o.v. Italian - Subt. English


Thursday 13 | 8 | 2020, 21:00  ·  GranRex  ·  Sub. English

Secret Screening #8

Introduced by Lili Hinstin


Friday 14 | 8 | 2020, 17:30  ·  PalaVideo  ·  Sub. English

Secret Screening #8

Introduced by Lili Hinstin

Claudia, a 22-year-old single mother, gets evicted from her house for not being able to pay the rent. She is forced to leave her six-year-old daughter with an old lady, while she goes to search for a job and the true love she never found.

This European premiere of Marghe and Her Mother marks the unexpected and delightful return to filmmaking of Mohsen Makhmalbaf, the great Iranian director. Makhmalbaf surprises us with this invitation to southern Italy to follow the adventures of six-year-old Marghe and her working-class single mother Claudia. In the brilliant sunshine of Italian villages, Makhmalbaf parallels the awakening of the girl’s consciousness of the world and her mother’s increasingly picaresque attempts to put food on the table, lacing his twisting narrative with a rich sense of humor. But what is most striking is that Makhmalbaf has attained the level of stylistic mastery of a painter who renders the world with a single brushstroke: he gets to the heart of the matter in three shots or a single camera movement, achieving a level of precision, purity and abstraction reminiscent of the later films of Claude Chabrol. The result is a film both sensual and comedic, occasionally enigmatic, but always anchored by the director’s singular vision. While Marghe and Her Mother marks a significant change from two releases from 1996, Gabbeh or A Moment of Innocence (screened in our A Journey in the Festival’s History), the films that made Makhmalbaf internationally famous, fans of his work will recognize his relationship to actors, in which the performers’ real selves rise to the surface to create complex portraits of regular people. In this sense, the portrayal of young Marghe is one of bracingly alive depictions of a child on screen in many years.

Lili Hinstin




Mohsen Makhmalbaf


Ylenia Galtieri, Margherita Pantaleo, Raffaella Gallo, Paolo C. Santeramo, Danilo Acinapura


Maysam Makhmalbaf


Rocco Calandriello, Claudia D'Anna


Maysam Makhmalbaf


Farid Pirayesh


Makhmalbaf Film House


RAI Cinema


Fondanzione Matera Basilicata-Cultural Capital of Europe 2019

Lucana Film Commission

World Sales

Makhmalbaf Film House

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